Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Do I always have to be the grown-up?

So mostly I really like being independent. I have this whole life-rule-motto-thing where it’s really important to me that I never be prevented from doing anything I want or need to do just because I’m terminally solo. It was this vow, this creedo if you will, that lead me to carry a 50 lb television up a loft ladder by myself one night because I wanted to be able to watch tv in bed and just because my bed was in a loft, and just because the tv was heavy, and just because I was a single woman that was not going to stop me so BY GOD, I WAS GONNA HAVE A TV IN THAT LOFT! (as it turned out, I had tv and a wrenched shoulder and a big dent in my loft wall. And also Sunday mornings in bed with my NASCAR race and my sleepy kitty. All good.)

Where was I? Oh, right. I’m INDEPENDENT!

Even with my ironclad, bulletproof independence, there are still times when I really wish there was someone else that I could ask to do the stuff I hate to do, or don’t do well. For instance, I really hate to do the dishes, and would LOVE to be able to say “tonight it’s your turn to do the dishes, while I will eat bon bons and drink champagne and watch some girly show with fancy shoes or long, deep conversations about feelings. Tra la la and whee!” I would also say that sometimes about cooking, and sometimes about mowing the lawn. Except less tv shows about feelings about shoes and more NASCAR races. About feelings.

But what I REALLY wish I could let someone else be in charge of is the MONEY. Not that I can’t deal with it, but I just don’t like to. It forces me to be extremely responsible and level-headed and “good”. When really what I want is to BUY! COOL! THINGS! Sigh. Like when I got the first credit card ever, which I didn’t even really ask for and didn’t think I wanted, I was all about “use wisely. Don’t be stupid.” For like 5 seconds, and then it was all magic money that I didn’t even have to earn first, and the fabulous thingies that I could buy with the magic money.

I haven’t used a credit card for close to a decade. And I’m finally closing in on a zero-balance on that one that I did have. Blessed, debt-free nirvana.

I want a laptop. I really want a laptop. MAN do I want a laptop. But laptops are expensive. And good laptops are even more expensive, and then you talk about the nice software to go on the good laptop and now we’re talking serious money in the house that Jack built. Where as most of my money is extremely light-hearted, trivial, silly, even ridiculous! (thanks, Roget!!) But in October there is talk of a bonus at my work. Bonus, which I believe is French for “money that is not already earmarked for rent or gas or bills or anything.”

Money that I could maybe use to get a laptop.

Money that I really SHOULD use to get even closer to that credit card zero balance.

See, this would be the perfect time for me to have some other person who always manages the money and gives me an allowance and balances the wants, like laptops (and I-Phones, which I also want, and a new photo-printer and did I mention that I-Phones are super-cool?) with the shoulds, like credit card balances. (and financial aide, and a couple of kitty check-ups and WOW, did those lame college classes really cost that much? Gah!)

I won’t tell you how this gripping suspense ends. Suffice it to say that if you read a future post where I comment on how nice it is to write while lying in the sun you’ll know what happened. (and also that the weather here in Hippyville is strangely sunny for the fall or winter!)

Wish me strength.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Attention to detail

Lest everyone thinks that I have absolutely no idea how to flirt or jive or be with people without sticking my finger in my nose, I give to you this story from a recent Friday night:

I’m with a group of ladies from work – one of those things where the fact that we work together 40+ hours a week somehow mandates that we need to spend a few more hours together to make sure we’re super-excellent BFFs, and you can see how enthusiastic I am about the whole concept, but anyway – at this slightly snooty pizza joint. The joint isn’t so snooty as much as their ideas about pizza are snooty -- they make snooty, gourmet, fancy-pants pizzas. This is the kind of place that has a whole category of pizza called “chicken”, which includes things from the darkest corners of asia and exotic chili peppers. The place is HOPPING and everyone at our table is loud and obnoxious, as is the rule for any table of over 6 women.

All evening long there’s this big guy who looks like he MAYBE works there, but different from the others who OBVIOUSLY work there, and he’s patrolling the restaurant constantly, so I peg him for management. Every time Mr. Manager walks past our table he takes a good, long look. Eventually someone at our table makes comment, along the lines of “what is the deal with the big guy in the black shirt who keeps looking at our table?” I explain my management theory, but still the “why” becomes a topic of goofy, giggly girl conversation, and eventually our table has narrowed the reasons for his constant drive-bys to two:

He wants us to get the heck out of dodge
He’s thinks we’re a table of hotties

For everybody else the speculation is fun, but I'm not speculation-girl. I'm forward, direct, no-sense-of-shame girl, and so I offer to just ask the guy. And the next time he comes by I share our expert hypothesis (as well as the scientific method used to identify these options, which consisted of mixing estrogen, vodka and beer and shaking well) and ask him to select option A, option B or an option C of his devising.

He chooses option C, which is this super-safe combo platter of equal parts "hot chicks! Woohoo!" and "for the love of Pete, please free up my table!!!" Problem is we're waiting for a to-go pizza still baking, which is when he offers to give us our “to go” order for free if we’ll leave, which some people would be offended by but I’m all “hey, free pizza!” He doctors the check and we place the order and eagerly await free pizzas wafting out of the kitchen!

So lesson number one here: hang out with amusing people with no reasonable sense of personal boundaries = get free pizza!

Now, I mentioned that it was busy, right? OK, so we ORDER the pizza but it takes a stinkin’ long time to cook and in the meantime there we are, all occupying this table that the guy specifically wanted us to FREE UP. And sure enough, eventually he comes by and notices how not gone we are. (because we’re something like 85% not gone. So not the deal he made!) And he complains that we’re not doing our part (but he’s joking here) and that he’s gonna have to give us something else to make us vamoose (funny, funny guy still all jokish) and “next you’re gonna want a date!”

Um, what?

He keeps talking, I keep talking, many pithy, ironic and super-clever lines are bandied back and forth, and really it isn’t until 5 minutes later, when the pizza arrives and we depart, that I start thinking “hey, did that guy kind of ask me a little bit sort of out?” I've since decided that he didn't, but where as most people figure these things out as they're happening, it takes me (apparently) at least a WEEK. Apparently I have the reflexes of a stoned turtle! The response time of the Titanic making a U-ey! I'm slow and stupid!

Don't get the wrong idea: He wasn’t my type and I wasn’t looking for a date. But with this attention to detail I'll be married for three years before I realize some dude thinks I'm cool.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008


I KNEW it! Call me lazy, call me slacker, call me narcoleptic! But I totally knew that all the naps I am always all-the-time takin' were noble, healthy, nay even ORGANIC and good for me! And LO, see how the good people of the Boston Globe (a real paper written by real journalists and read by people who went to real colleges!) broke down the ins and outs and various facets of that most glorious of health regimens: THE NAP!

Some things I learned from the Boston Globe Smarty-smarty-smartsmarts? That I'm an owl, not a lark. and this is good, because I'm pretty sure that the lark is the dorkiest of the birds. Seriously -- I think they have little bird pocket protectors and play lark Dungeons and Dragons and the like. Whereas owls are stinkin' cool; they fly the coolest cars and smoke and swear birdy curses.

Also, I'm NOT afternoon-stupid! No, it turns out that my days have been plagued, nay MOCKED, by an afternoon quiescent phase. A PHASE, people! How could someone combat that? Answer: nap.

My nap of choice? I rock that 4th image where you're lying on your face, naked, with your ass lovingly covered by some kind of blanky. That's how I roll. (and also between 60 and 90 minutes of hardcore, quality nap-action. and also when I nap I'm devoid of hue. But hey, aren't we all?) But let's not take anything away from Mr. Clean down there, with the bare feet and the headphones, huggin' his security pillow. That is a guy I could learn to love: a man who naps unabashedly. Unashamedly. Puts his all and his everything into every nap.

So the next time you fall asleep on your desk at work, your nose covered with "sign here" tags and your screen full of nothing but g's, g's, g's, don't get down on yourself! You're just overdue for that power-nap, people! Time to find a couch! A sofa! A loveseat! and GET our NAP on, my people!!

PS: seriously, counting sheep or "floating Z's" actually works? Man, I owe Chuck Jones an apology...

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Wait, there's one in the morning AND in the evening?

Amidst the various hecticities (is so, is so, is totally so a word!) of the last few weeks there was a 42-hour window where I had to work three shifts: one from 7ish(am) to 3ish(pm), then one from 10ish(pm) to 7ish(am) and then one from 3ish(pm) to midnightish(am? Man, that one always confuses me).

Understand that I still believe, despite recent evidence otherwise, that I’m 17 years old and can work for 24 hours in a row without even getting tired and only need 4 hours of sleep to be fresh as a daisy and other stupid, untrue things. And as such, I did this schedule to myself. (also I just couldn’t bear to do this to anyone else. Not since I was so young and spry and all.)

ANYWAY! I worked the first shift that morning and all was fine. I went home by way of a soccer game (watching, not playing) and some Jamba Juice (Razzmatazz, why must you tempt me so with your berry siren song?) and had about 4 hours to sleep before I had to be back for shift #2. And I’m thinking “no problem! I feed kitties, pack my bag of stuff for tonight, get up with 30 minutes for dinner and I’m there in no time!” (clearly I should also have been thinking “and later I’ll meet Debs and Scooter down on the Quad for coffee and a gab fest about our classes and how much Professor Smithers sucks with all the homework, and man am I lucky I’m so very, very young.”) I fed kitties and packed bag and flopped down on the couch for 4 hours of quality nap-sleep.

And I marveled at how bright the sun was outside and how very middle-of-the-afternoon it felt, and how not at all sleepy I was.

So I’m lying there watching tv and stressing that I’m not sleeping and flippy-flopping with not sleeping and realizing that if I were as spry as I think I am I wouldn’t even know enough to stress about not sleeping and thinking “why do I have to have a ‘coming-to-grips-with-my-maturity’ moment NOW???” But somewhere in there I DID fall asleep. A hard sleep. A rock-hard sleep. Sleep of the damned and all.

And then I woke up, and the morning was bright and crisp. And also it was the morning. The clocks all mocked me with their “6:30”ness and I FREAKED OUT BECAUSE I HAD SLEPT COMPLETELY THROUGH THE WHOLE OVERNIGHT SHIFT AAAAUUUUGGGHHH!!!! Now, properly inspired by the panic of the completely screwed, I grabbed my purse and shoes and was in the car and out of the driveway in about .2 seconds.

I RACE out to the location for these funky shifts at about “bat-out-of-hell” times 10. (Oh no, not conveniently close enough to be biked quickly, and therefore driven even more quickly. No, these shifts are out at “far away pavilion land”, which takes 15-20 min. to even drive there. Fabulous.) I’m all over my phone calling the managers who should be managing the thing that I didn’t come and do, and nobody is answering their damned phones! Exactly why do we have cell phones if not to answer them any time I call and need them? Plus, might I add, FREAKING OUT!!!

Finally I get a manager type and I explain my whole missing of my shift and the tremendous badness of same. And she is fine with it. She doesn’t even seem to understand what the heck I’m talking about. In fact, the tone of voice smacks of “oh darn, Femtastic has finally jumped the crazy shark of no saneness. Had to happen eventually.” So frustrated am I by her distinct lack of getting it that I hang up pretty quickly and start the turn-off to the last 5 minutes of the drive and hey, did my phone say PM?

Did my phone say that it’s 6:30PM?

Gosh, 6:30AM and 6:30PM sure do look similar this time of year! Except that would definitely be what we like to call “West” that the sun is melting down into.


…I have no idea why I jumped immediately to 6:30AM. It never for even one second occurred to me that it could be only about 40 minutes after I’d fallen asleep. I knew, 100% knew, that it was the morning and no amount of it actually being the evening could slow me down!

So I turned the car around and drove the reverse route back home, at a much more reasonable “I am such a complete moron” pace. Of course now there’s enough adrenaline rushing through my system to reanimate Uma Thurman, so even though it’s 7PM when I get home it’s at least 8PM before my lids dip even a smidge. And that shift from 10ish to 7ish was SO MUCH LONGER than I’d hoped.

Lesson learned: I need AM/PMs on all my clocks. Or to work overnight less. (“or a husband” says a friend. Do they help with this stuff?)

Monday, September 22, 2008

Potty Poetry, Volume 1

I have a magnetic poetry kit, have had for years. Just like most folks, when I first got the kit I put it on my fridge. I made 2 or 3 pithy, clever phrases and then never composed while in my kitchen ever again.

Then one year I had a burst of inspiration. I picked up a magnetic white board from Ikea and hung it beside my toilet. Ever since that day, my magnetic poetry kit has been on FIRE!

I bring to you now the current genius items of poetic majesty on my magnetic potty poetry kit, for your poetic and scatological enjoyment:

  • Essential beauty needs to incubate
  • Never smear power with luscious lather
  • The fluff crusher produces a garden of enormous black men
  • Mad visions of a Delirious egg diamond
  • Hee, hee, panties
  • She can picture me one honey of a boy
  • I love the maybes & lies
  • My dinosaur suit is but a sad shadow
  • These sausages are not true meats
  • You want purple juice, I want white milk
  • Chocolate is an elaborate apparatus for delicate arms

Sunday, September 21, 2008

An Open Letter to Whomever Is Left...

Hi. My name is Femtastic. Used to be I kept a blog and blogged about things and stuff. But then I had this job and it was hectic. And then it was super-hectic. And then it was “holy crap, I got me no time for anything except the job” hectic.

But lo, I am Free-ed! I am back to the bloggy goodness of my life, because the hecticity of the job (is too a word) has finally calmed down. And, might I add, “Whew!” So sorry for the distinct nothingness and also the pervasive quiet and lack of words and such.

To make up for this I have a goal for this week: to blog every day. This is my goal. It is a GOOD goal. It is a SOLID goal. It is a NOBLE goal.

It is also probably an impossible goal. Because TV comes back this week, and tap dancing also returns. And there are plans on some nights with friends and family members who also kind of forgot I existed because I was tremendously not around. And also sometimes I get sleepy.

But it is the goal that I promise to you, the 6.3 people who foolishly keep checking back to see if I’m around, to do my best to achieve.

Wish me luck, my friends.

(PS. You look great! Have you changed your hair or lost weight or something? How are the spouse and kids? Are you still in that book club/cooking class/Young Republicans Coffee Clatch? Never stop being you. Kiss Kiss and some huggies.)

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Battle of the Bulge, Part Three – Bad Days = Bad Food

You know what happens when you decide to watch what you eat? Food begins to drop from the sky. Bad food. EVIL food. Soulless food with a chocolaty coating and creamy, black filling.

I’m trying to be good! I mean, not last week of course. The big push last week was to remove the bad foods from the house. It was with this noble goal in mind that I ate fish sticks, tater tots, frozen waffles, peanut butter cookies and terrible, terrible Cap’n Crunch. (oh you devilish seaman, you, with your swarthy, sugary mustache and your berries of tempting crunchitude…) And I was rewarded for my noble deeds! Rewarded Sunday night when I stepped on that scale, STEPPED ON IT WITH PRIDE! Stepped up and said to it “do your worst, Scale!” And it replied “you gained two pounds, Fat-Ass. Step off before you damage my insides.”

Still, I’d done the hard work and now it’s time to dedicate myself to the good foods. The Fish! The Veggies! The foods called “Lean” and “Light” and “of COURSE there’s no flavor here! You want to lose weight, don’t you? Then shut it!” I did away with all the Pockets that are Hot, and turned to the Pockets that are LEAN! Surely they would still be a tasty way to take care of the occasional lunch, right? And just as I’d hoped, they were fine! Oh sure, the sauce puts one in mind of light-orange milk and the crust is most definitely made from mulch and manila folders. But other than that? Fine.

But things at my work are difficult right now. Nay, some might even call it craptastic, with the constant stress and too much to do and “Hey, who put this flaming sack of poop on my chair???” And, like many organizations, we combat the work stress with FOOOOOOOD! At every turn the universe jumps out and attacks me with the savory bombs of temptation! Scrumptious bullets of sweet decadence! Sneaky Snack Attacks! Make it STOP! Just yesterday I fought my way through the day and was doing ok. But I ended up the day at a very angry work meeting, capped off with a lovely plate of rage cookies. Who can say no to sweet little rage cookies, shaped like angels and hearts, but brought forth only to stuff the mouths of the rageful meeting participants? Its just not fair.

And today! Today! Today I didn’t even take a lunch, so busy with crazy was the day, and I thought (in an effort to sketch a lovely, silver lining on a day too busy for lunch) “hey, at least this should help me with my desire to be less of a fatty-fatty-fat-fat!” And like THAT boxes of free pizza and bags of chips and plates of home-baked, love-filled desserty things sprang forth from the ether! Swarmed my desk! Wedged themselves down my helpless mouth! Oh sure, I nommed! I nommed like nobody’s BUSINESS! But still, what is with the non-stop buffet from Temptation Island, people?

Tomorrow my plan is to have a simple P, B & J for lunch. As a result, I’m sure I will receive a gross of deep-fried Twinkies in the mail.

Monday, September 01, 2008

Battle of the Bulge. Part Two - Suck it Billy Jean

Now that we’ve covered whence we’ve placed the finish line, let’s talk about my two prongs of racing-winning success: finding some way to get some exercise in my big, stupid life AND trying to moderate my intake of food without starving or getting very, very blue. And cranky.

OK, so not sure if I mentioned this or not, but I super-hate to exercise. However I do NOT hate to get some exercise if it’s a great big accident, say as a side effect of doing something fun. Remember tap dancing class? FUN! Also the biking to work and back? (sometimes damp but still mostly) FUN! These are some of the keys to my most certain and triumphant success.

Tap class starts back up next week. This is tappy, sweaty exercise that I most definitely love to do. And even though it’s getting rainy, and presently I just cannot find my rain pants, and also I keep having to go to these meetings out at the very far away new hospital which is too far for biking and also I really need to figure out some way to wear a helmet, STILL I will continue to be a bike-commuting girl. Including, whenever I can, doing a scenic route home that takes me about 30 minutes and be even more exercisy.

On top of those existing exercise super-genius plans I’ve got two more. The first? Tennis! Or, more accurately, “chasing yellow, fuzzy balls around a tennis court while explaining what it was that happened that last time which made it totally impossible for me to hit the ball even though it was right where I was. And I was swinging every which way. And did I mention that the sun was in my eyes?”

My Dad and I decided to invest in uber-cheap used tennis rackets (which came with fancy, zippy covers with shoulder straps that make us look like we’re totally good at this! Like the dudes that bring their own cue to the pool hall! Not at ALL dorky or lame!!!) and we’ve been going to one of the multiple free, common-use neighborhood tennis courts that surround my house one night a week. We go about 10pm (for we require an entire day of walking around and talking and just existing in the universe as our warm-up before we risk actual exercise, and also there’s generally nobody else there at that time.)

Now counting the two times that he and I have gone over the last two weeks I’ve only been playing tennis for approximately (wait, let me check this to be sure… yep, that’s what I thought) two weeks. So you can imagine how truly fabulous I am. Why there was one time last week where I served a ball and he hit it back to me! (yes!) Not only that, but I was feeling all kicky myself so I hit the ball back to HIM! (seriously!) Of course by then we were both too exhausted and amazed with ourselves to continue standing, and we did that traditional lying down on the court and wheezing thing that you always see on the Masters or the World Series or whatever that tennis championship thing is called. Which, by the way, I’ll surely be winning next year.

But the REAL key to my exercise success with the balls and rackets and very, very bright lights at 10 at night is the dozen or so times each week that I accidentally hit the ball pretty much right up in the air, way over the stupid fence that surrounds the courts (and which, by the way, is about 11 feet too short!) This gives me the opportunity to run to the single door in or out of the courts (sure, the fence is too small, but they sure didn’t waste any fencing on copious doors in or out!) and then roam around in the neighborhood around the court looking for the runaway ball. My rule has been that I have to run to get the ball and run back. Or at least run our to get it. Or at least run to the door. Or do that little hoppy thing when I first head off to get it that makes it look like I’m about to run, but then I don’t. or at least say the words ‘I’ll run and get it” when I hit it over, even though my Dad wasn’t for even a second planning to go get it. I’m pretty sure that saying the word “run” does burn more calories than any other word.

My other secret exercise weapon? Hot Hoola Hoop Action. I can say no more at this time.