February 2011


When the rain is not so much falling as diving, or flinging itself, or assaulting the buildings and ground and trees and all else in its path, the sound of it on windowpanes and walls makes me feel cold.  I may not be cold, but the sound of raindrops violently smacking the vent in the kitchen, and the window above my bed makes me shiver.  It makes me think of dozens of memories of my childhood, because the top bunk I slept on for years was often against the wall between my bedroom and the bathroom.  So when Dad would get up at about 5:30am or so and take his shower, I would wake up to the sound of water forcefully hitting the bathtub floor and walls.  It’s very much the same sound.  It was always dark that early, it seems.

I would slowly wake up, loving my warm and fuzzy blankets, feeling a shiver or two because of the sound.  Some mornings, if I woke up before Dad was out of the shower, I would gather up my favorite blanket, sneak off my bed and out to the living room or dining room.  Our house used central heating then, and we had floor vents in every room.  So I would take my blanket and find the vent that Dad wouldn’t look at (it was always a gamble) and make myself a blanketty heat cocoon to combat the shivering.  I’d sit there, soaking up every bit of warm air until I was sweating.  Dad took issue with this behavior because it stopped the heat from dispersing through the house, and kept the furnace running longer.  That cost him money.  I didn’t really care, though.  I wanted to be warm.

Here, in this new grown-up life, I have no floor vents and no one gets up earlier than me.  So I have to endure without a large source of heat readily accessible and sometimes hot tea can’t cut it.  Sometimes my back feels cold and refuses to get warm, unless I worm back into bed with Nikolai and snuggle my back up against him.  He is very warm, and if he didn’t toss so dang much he’d be almost as good as a floor vent.

When I was a child, my sisters and I shared a love for black olives.  Salty, somehow smooth as if imbued with the fat of the oil that could have been pressed out of them in another life, they delighted us.  We would afix them to each finger, pretending they were our new, fashionable manicures.  Then we would delicately snarf our “manicures”, loving every second of that marvelous flavor.

As we grew up, my older and younger sisters developed a taste for pimiento-stuffed green olives.  I couldn’t understand it.  To my sugar-saturated palate, green olives were wayyyy too salty or tangy or bitter . . . or something I couldn’t name.  They were just too much.  So I ignored them.  At family gatherings, I would take my share of the black olives and snub those other things that lay nearby, sullying my dark darlings by association.  I shivered dramatically whenever I was offered such a creation.  NO, THANK YOU.  Obviously, as I grew up, dirty martinis would never be a thing I could enjoy.  Just. . ew.

I don’t remember when things changed, when the too-intense taste of pimiento-stuffed green olives became delicious.  It must have been recent, in my early 20’s.  Let’s face it – early are the only 20’s I have right now.  My point is, I tried them.  Secretly, in cover of shadows and darkness, I tried them.  And lo, they were good.  At first I could only handle one.  Then a break, perhaps some bread, and another.  The time came that I would eat two successively, then three.

I realized I had a problem this week.  We went shopping and I wanted some green olives.  That, in itself, was not evidence of a problem.  A girl likes a dirty martini once a month (they’re strong enough to last about 30 days), and I like to be a prepared potential hostess.  Olives, just in case.  And then we got home.  I wrestled with the lid and lost, to the detriment of all my feminist predecessors.  I scowled at the jar.  I spurned the jar.  I pointed at the jar with one hand, the other balled into a fist as I made childish noises of displeasure, ‘mnnnnnhh!  emmnnnnhhhh!  NNNNHNNNNHHHHNNNNN! ”  My husband, he of the stereotypically strong hands (and I’m a massage therapist, people) came dashing into the kitchen.  His dashing was hampered by his giggles at my vehemently cranky posture and noises.  At any rate, he opened the jar.  I squealed, clapped, hugged and thanked him, and then shoved olives into my cheek like a chipmunk.

It’s been about a week now, and every time I open the fridge there those olives are.  They just focus their red eyes on me, knowing that I’ll cave soon.  But not at 6 am, even though it seemed delicious at the time.  Tonight I wanted some olives.  I pulled out the jar and once I had removed the lid myself I hovered above it shoving olives into my cheeks.  I think I tempered myself at 8.  It was marvelous.

I found a new class to take at the gym.  It’s called Teacher Makes Us Squat And Then We All Die.  Not really, it’s called like. . .Willpower and Grace or something enticing.  The teacher said for people that have never taken the class before, to stick with the Level 1 option that she provides for the different maneuvers.  Then there are Levels 2 and 3.
I believe I have mentioned previously that I am very competitive.  So competitive, in fact, that I stopped taking yoga classes because I would try to be bendier than the instructor, you know, the person who has been doing this daily for 5 years or so?  The person who. . . does yoga daily?  After pulled muscles galore, I decided to keep myself and my issues in the living room.  Even though I think Dooce and I could totally agree on this topic.
Anyway, I decided (wisely) to stay at Level 1, the level of wimps, beginners, pansies, pregnant women, and those with glaring physical wounds keeping them from being good enough.  It’s a good thing I did, too.  Because I can’t count the breaks I took, just standing still and gulping air while everyone else leapt lightly from toe to toe, swooped into a plie`, swung their arms with purpose on a diagonal line from their right toes to a point above their left shoulders, and used their “smart toes” to really grip the floor and stabilize themselves.

Do you ever have just one of those days? One of those days where you’re supposed to have your very first 90-day review? But it’s not on the schedule and you don’t want to bring it up? And you think you might have downloaded a virus to your networked company computer where you deal with financial somethings? Not from visiting a dangerous website, no no. From visiting a decently famous blog site that I won’t even link here even though I love it because I don’t know if that whole “infected site” thing is cleared up yet. And you get a decent headache from high blood pressure because all you can think is:

1. I infected my computer

2. My computer has personal client information

3. My computer is networked with all these others

4. All these others have even more personal client information

5. My Review was supposed to be today

6. I’ve disappointed and possibly enraged our IT guy who is just a tich deaf so he speaks loud anyway

7. I’ve gotten caught going to non-work websites (it’s amalah, people. it’s not prono)

8. I’m totally going to get fired and our new couch will never come

9. Everything is my fault and I’m bad and they’re going to be angry at and disappointed with me (The universal, ambiguous THEY)

And after that, once your scalp stops tingling from the blood pressure spike, you get home? And all you want is a good beer (personal preference allowed), mac and cheese, bacon, potatoes, and ice cream?

shut up, it’s none of your business if I’m on my period.

Seriously, this post wouldn’t exist without Nikolai begging me to blog about it. . . even though it’s kind of embarrassing.  Here we go.

**Warning:  This post contains a story of an embarrassing and objectionable nature.  Read at your own risk**

Earlier this evening, after a delicious dinner of Mexican food and an arbitrary short nap, I scrolled through the Netflix playlists available to us and selected Destry Rides Again, a marvelous black and white starring Marlene Dietrich and Jimmy Stewart.

I found it interesting that we all know Jimmy Stewart as  Jimmy Stewart, but he’s billed as James Stewart in the credits.  Anyway, back to my story.

Movie ends with me tearing up because what else do I do at movies, lying on the couch with Nick on the floor below.  We’re holding hands cos I was crying, and then he tugs my hand and rolls so I am pulled off the couch and across his stomach and he starts tickling me.  Knowing where I’m ticklish, he launches himself for my feet but I manage to keep them out of his grasp.  Second best – inner thighs.  *cough cough* You know, that whole. . . region.  So I’m shrieking and flailing because dang it a lady is ticklish in some areas,  and I try to say, “No that’s bad stop tickling my vagina.”  I’m sorry it’s true to the story and I never thought I’d blog it.  However what I managed to say, over and over, was, “bad vagina bad vagina.”  Luckily, this incapacitates him with laughter but only for a few seconds.  So the whole unpleasant cycle continues – he attacks, I whine, “noooooo bad vagina bad vagina noooo bad vagina!”  he laughs and can’t move, I try to get away.

Eventually he stopped with the tickle attacks and said, “please blog this.”

“Honey, I can’t blog about this!  My aunt reads this! She would die . . . . of laughing okay I’ll blog it.  But I’m telling everyone it was your idea.”

I just opened the wrong end of some girl scout cookies.  You know, the end of the box that spells out in no uncertain terms, “open the other end that is designed for opening, and not this firmly glued, clearly marked, difficult to open end, you idiot.” Also, yesterday while flossing I cut my lip.  With the floss.  I only started flossing again two days ago, spurred to a burst of good behavior by Nick scheduling a dental appointment. . .for himself.  But hey, maybe the dentist will know that I’m not flossing and then he’ll judge me!

For the first time in my adult life, I have a job with benefits that include medical and dental insurance.  This is a big deal, because for a portion of my young life I didn’t have those, either.  As such, my wisdom teeth haven’t ever been pulled, and they need to be.  Well, one does.  The one that is in at a bizarre diagonal to its abutting tooth, and is scrunching the teeth in front of that and making my mouth all cattywompus.  While I really want my teeth fixed and healthy and stuff, I am afraid of the cost, afraid of the process, and afraid that they’ll find a bunch of cavities or a root canal I need done.  Also I’m afraid it’ll hurt.

Nikolai has hereditarily bad teeth, and he hasn’t gone to a dentist since he was covered by his parents’ insurance.  So he’s concerned, too, and I’m concerned because of stories like this.  However, I’m inspired by that story as well to use the coverage we have to get ourselves in order.

Nick called and set his first appointment today.  He instant messaged me right after, panicking.  Because in his mind, as soon as they x-ray him, they’ll tell him that there’s nothing they can do and he better call and tell me goodbye because he’ll be dying in the next ten minutes.

So there’s that.

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