Tag Archives: husbands who do ridiculous things

Crotch Gate Gate.

Yesterday I mentioned that my post was going to be in three parts, and there ended up being only two parts, for two reasons. The first reason was that I kind of got carried away talking about how I was going to talk about The Wet Brush, which is kind of the problem here – it’s never what I want to talk about that ends up being so many words, but me talking about what I’m going to talk about, and the lead in to what I’m going to talk about, and the things I think about that are kind of related to what I’m going to talk about that add so much bulk on to what could be an average size blog post. What does an average size post weigh in at these days, anyway? What are all the kids doing? 1200 words? 1500? I don’t know. Probably somewhere in there, right?

And then the second reason that I had to abandon part three was that there was a whole other development to the story when Phil came home for lunch. I was initially already planning to write this little bit up, like I usually do, “Hey, listen to this ridiculous thing my husband does,” and wrap it up with something like, “So, at what point does he cross the line from thoughtless knob into total inconsiderate ass captain?” BUT THEN. He came home for lunch. And not only was he wearing the team uniform of the New Mexico Inconsiderate Ass Captains, he proceeded to break one of our number one marriage rules or possibly THE NUMBER ONE rule of our marriage, thus DOUBLE SEALING his place on the losing side of this situation, which is pretty much my favorite kind of thing to have happen.

We have this really big expandable baby gate that we bought when we were still living in Arizona and had this weird half wall situation around the den that we used as an office. We had tried several different gates and sent them back because we needed to find one that was the right combination of wide enough to stretch across the very big opening, but also short enough of go up against the very low wall we were dealing with on one side. We ended up with this Safety 1st Wide Doorways Fabric Gate. It’s 27″ high and expands up to 60″ across and it can be a little tedious to install, since you have to twist these little knob thingers on the top and bottom on one side to pressure mount it to the wall firmly. That worked for us, though, since we were renting and didn’t want to install anything permanently.

We kept it across the opening to the office area for awhile, but eventually moved it to separate the two halves of the split floor plan house, mounting it in the normal-sized doorway between the kitchen and the playroom. This effectively divided the house into a dog side and a Penelope side, with the kitchen, back living room and our bedroom for the dogs and the big playroom, two other bedrooms, and office area for Penelope. As an aside, I will tell you that that is not how this new house is laid out and the dogs are not pleased with the new development. (“Stop. Stop. STOP. HE IS RUNNING AWAY BECAUSE HE DOESN’T LIKE YOU.“) We kept it up almost constantly, because it served the dual purpose of keeping Penelope out of the kitchen and keeping the dogs out of the playroom (Brinkley is a toy-eater). Sometimes, though, we let it down, because we have a toddler, and we have dogs, and toddlers and dogs just go together, most notably when you don’t feel like getting out the vacuum, so you just let the cleaning crew rumble through.

Phil was usually the one to let the gate down, in the evenings, after Penelope had gone to bed (which means after I had also gone to bed, because I go to bed when Penelope goes to bed, no exceptions). In the mornings, I’d wake up and the gate would be back in place. Or it would look like it was back in place. If you’ll recall, I mentioned that the gate is 27″ high – convenient for the space we were looking to fill at the time, and I guess a convenient height for dogs and toddlers. Now, pardon me if I’m about to be crude, but it’s also the exact height of my crotch. I can’t just step comfortably over the gate. It touches. I can’t physically get over the gate without brushing it. With my business. It’s not that I’m very short – I mean, I’m short, but just regular short. You might meet me some day and note that I’m not particularly tall but it’s not shocking. You wouldn’t have to make a mental note to yourself to not stare or anything. I’m just regular not tall. I know that bringing up lack of height on the Internet is dangerous because it can quickly turn into a faux-humility pissing contest over who is the most petite and what you can’t reach on the shelves and whose crotch touches what but I will tell you now I don’t consider height or lack of height to be anything. And that is not a partial sentence, I meant to stop right there. I’m just stating a fact for this story, I am a regular short person. It’s not a thing I wish to bond over.

The problems would arise when I would step over the gate I assumed was placed correctly only to find that, no, in fact, it was not. It was placed BY PHIL. So in a perfect world, gate placed correctly, I’d step one foot over, brush, and place my other foot over. In the real world, gate placed BY PHIL, I’d step one foot over, brush, the act of brushing would DISLODGE the gate that was only half-assedly twisted against the wall, knocking it into the leg that was already over, usually taking me to the ground with it.

The first time? Weird. The second time? Weird. The third time? I’D CAUGHT ON, PHIL.

“Dude. If you take the gate down, you’ve got to put it back on tightly.”
“I do.”
“Uh, no, because it comes down and knocks me over.”
“Okay.”

Fourth time. Fifth time.

“Phil. Seriously. The gate.”
“I do put it back on tightly.”
“I was carrying her lunch. I threw it all over the playroom.”
“Sorry, but I put it back on this time.”
“No, THIS is putting it back on.”
“Okay. Okay.”

Six. Seven. Eight.

“PHIL. COME ON.”
“I get it. Okay. Sorry.”

And then we moved to New Mexico. Before we moved here, we talked a bit about the layout of the new place and where we were going to put the gate, and if we wanted to get a permanently installed gate, since the new place has stairs. Also, Penelope can just force this gate down now, no matter who screws it in, but she knows she’s supposed to leave it up when it’s up. It’s more of a symbolic gate where she’s concerned, but it does still keep the dogs where we want them. For now, we’ve decided to keep it at the bottom of the stairs, in front of the bottom step. We keep the dogs downstairs during the day, to keep Brinkley from running up and down the steps. In addition to his current injury, he’s also almost 10 and does have arthritis. We initially even considered keeping them downstairs entirely and went with that for a few days, but I thought they were lonely and we started letting them sleep upstairs at night pretty quickly. In the morning, Phil takes the dogs and usually Penny, if she’s awake, downstairs to eat breakfast and he replaces the gate. I leave it up for the rest of the day and it comes back down at night when everyone comes up.

CROTCHGATE

Incredibly boring picture of the scene of the crime.

Yesterday, I came downstairs with Penelope and went to step over the gate, as I do – you know, step, brush, step – only to enjoy my first New Mexico ass-over-tea kettling courtesy of the crotch gate. Step, brush, CRASH. It was not even half-assedly pressure twisted to the wall. I don’t even know if it was leaning against the wall. I swear, it was hovering there. Just balanced. Like he spent time and effort achieving some miracle of physics specifically to screw with me, so I’d end up with my face in the carpet. Why? Why, Phil? We haven’t even been here long enough for you to set up any hidden cameras. Why? Why do you do this?

I immediately started composing part three of yesterday’s post in my mind. What I was thinking was something along the lines of what I said about – when does someone cross the line from thoughtless knob to inconsiderate ass captain when it comes to something you’re asking them to do for you? See, I know that Phil really seems to think he tightens the gate enough. But he doesn’t. He doesn’t at all. When I put the gate up, I can safely step over it without it budging at all. It takes effort – I have to get down on my hands and knees to tighten the knob on the bottom or the lower half of the gate will swing freely, which loosens the top half. That’s why it’s not tight when Phil puts it up – he tightens the top knob, but he doesn’t bother with the lower one. Because it’s a pain in the ass. I know it is.

The first couple of times I fell, I brought it up to him nicely. Please tighten the gate properly, because I don’t know if you know this, but my crotch. It touches.

The next few times, I was annoyed, but I still brought it up pretty kindly. Dude. I ride low to the ground. You’ve got to tighten that gate.

The gate was still loose and still causing issues. Is he not getting it? Phil. I am physically being knocked to the ground. My body. My person. It is hitting the floor. Please. The gate.

And that’s where I was at lunchtime yesterday. I was going to pose that question to you yesterday. Has Phil crossed the line yet? Is his refusal to take an extra admittedly pain in the ass step to do something properly for my benefit alone (I assume his business makes no contact) over the line into inconsiderate ass captain territory yet?

BUT THEN.

HE CAME HOME FOR LUNCH.

I was making Penelope a quesadilla and I couldn’t find my piranha pizza cutter, also known as the best pizza cutter I have ever owned (I’ve owned three, which I think is enough). It was nowhere, so I was furious, because Phil has a habit of just putting things wherever, which he promised he wouldn’t do in this new place. I know that if I give a shit about where things go, putting them away should be my job, but still. There’s a line. And that line is put my piranha pizza cutter somewhere where I can find it when I need to cut a quesadilla, especially when I’m already pissed at you. (Side note: It turns out Phil doesn’t know where it is, either, which is a nightmare.)

He came into the kitchen, and I was stomping around, slamming drawers, and immediately started bitching about the pizza cutter. When he said he didn’t know where it was, either, I calmed down a bit, but I was already worked into a good huff, so I wheeled around and said, “THE GATE. I FELL. AGAIN. INTO THE LIVING ROOM. YOU NEED TO TIGHTEN THE GATE. FOR THE LOVE OF GOD.”

And that’s when it happened. The biggest crime you can commit in our marriage, the number one rule, the thing we Do Not Do, the ultimate in unfairness: Retaliatory Anger.

“I DO TIGHTEN IT.”
“Obviously not.”
“I TIGHTEN IT PLENTY ENOUGH FOR ME!”
“Plenty enough for you? The fact that I’m still falling over it means there’s obviously a problem with your method.”
“WELL I DON’T KNOW WHAT YOU WANT ME TO DO.”
“What do you suggest I do, Phil? GET A VAGINA LIFT?”

At that point I went upstairs and I know it probably looked like I was storming away angrily, but I wasn’t, because I already knew I had double won. I didn’t need to be convinced I was in the right about the gate, because I am. I just am. He’s wrong. On top of that, I know I’m in the right about the gate, I brought it up to him, and he came back at me aggressively and angrily in response. Oh hell no. Not in our marriage. We may be weird and we may keep score and we may be locked in a lifelong battle to the death for superiority, but there is no retaliatory anger allowed. If I get mad at him, or he gets mad at me, if one of us has a legitimate beef with the other one, it is absolutely forbidden to get angry in response. No. Nope. You cannot get mad at me because I am mad at you for something you did. Is that a reaction that people do have? Sure is. That’s a thing that happens. That’s a thing that used to happen a lot in this relationship. That is also a thing We Do Not Do Anymore. So if you’re counting, that’s a Double Win for me.

Before he left, he came back upstairs in a much more docile mood, clearly having the experience to know it’s best to give in quickly and completely and let me beat my win out of you rather than holding on to pride, heading back to work, and letting me simmer on some kind of revenge for the rest of the day.

“Hey.”
“Hello.”
“I will try to tighten the gate from now on.”
“Thank you. You know, it’s not my fault I have a low crotch.”
“I know.”
“And I did approach you very kindly the first four thousand times.”
“I know.”
It’s not like when you used to leave the shower head pointed so it hit me in the face every time I turned it on. That was just annoying. I keep falling down.”
“I know.”
“So it’s understandable that I would come at you aggressively after reminding you so many times and you seemingly not caring enough to make an effort.”
“It really is.”
“I’m not an asshole for that.”
“You’re not.”
“You’re kind of an asshole for not making an effort and letting your wife fall over and over, really.”
“I am.”
“And then, when I finally get angry about it, which you agree is understandable, it’s not really fair of you to get angry back.”
“It’s not.”
“You’re kind of an asshole for that.”
“I am.”
“So you’re kind of a double asshole.”
“I am.”
“And I’m not one at all.”
“No, I am the asshole.”
“Good talk.”

Anyway, it turned out I actually didn’t need you at all yesterday, Internet.

Disclaimer: You will never find a serious marital issue or argument discussed on this website.

Item in drawers: a tale of husbandly betrayal, vanity progress, and the Anastasia Contour Kit-ish.

Before we got married – actually, before we moved in together – ACTUALLY, before we were even officially dating, I told Phil that I don’t move. I mean, I physically move, like my limbs and stuff, if I have to. I meant that I don’t move my belongings from place to place. I’ll pack boxes and I’ll clean the place I’m leaving behind, but I don’t lift them and I don’t load trucks and I certainly don’t lift furniture out of one door and into another door. I just don’t do it. I don’t. And it’s fine if you want to consider this a glaring character flaw on my part, we all have them, but what’s important is that I informed Phil of this flaw BEFORE WE WERE EVEN ACTUALLY TOGETHER. I laid it out there like, here it is. Your call, dude. I would like it known for the record that he didn’t start up with the puns until I was already in Arizona and had closed my only credit card, so I ask you, who is the actual asshole?

Anyway, knowing that fact, he still chose to pursue a relationship with me, and I moved (he moved my stuff) from Maryland to Arizona, and then we moved (he moved our stuff) from one place in Arizona to another, and then we moved again (he hired some guys for most of it) to another place in Arizona, and then we had to move to New Mexico courtesy of the military. He decided to take advantage of the full benefits of a military move and arranged to have the whole deal where people come in and not only load everything onto a truck, but also pack it all up as well. I wonder why.

The day the packers came, I took Penelope to the indoor park one more time, because there’s not really anything like that around the new place, not nearly as convenient, at least, and of course to keep her out of the hair of the guys packing up all of our possessions. The night before, we’d gone grocery shopping for enough convenience food, snacks, paper plates, and cups for the rest of the week, as well as put all of the clothes, toiletries, medications and whatnot that we’d need in the spare bedroom. Since the packers will pack everything that isn’t nailed down, what you have to do is mark off a room that basically won’t be touched at all and put everything you’re going to need in there and you best not forget anything. We took the mattress off of our spare bed and left that in the room as well, since we decided to get rid of it. We were able to kind of eke out a little extra comfort in this way by sleeping on the mattress for a couple of nights before we arranged for a bulk trash pick up to come and get it, then we had to sleep on the floor.

Pen and I left the house just shortly before the movers were supposed to arrive, but they ended up being hours late, so when her energy for playing started to flag, we had to kill time at the mall. Twist my arm. I stopped by Sephora and did kind of a double take when I saw that they had a whole pile of Anastasia Beverly Hills Contour kits which, at the time, had been selling out as soon as they came available online, so it was a surprise to see so many piled up right in the store. I went back and forth about grabbing one, because I’m pretty fair skinned and there are six colors in the kit, so the chances of being able to use all of them are pretty slim. One of my initial reluctancies (I see you, red squiggle) to pick up the contour kit was that I’d use up two or three colors and be left with three useless ones. Plus, uh, I actually don’t know how to contour well at all. However, there’d been a lot of talk about Anastasia coming out with refills in other colors for the kit, and I actually don’t own as much makeup as I do because I’m particularly talented. It’s because I like playing around with it. When I look at pictures of what I could do with makeup at this time last year or two years ago, there’s a world of difference, and it’s only because I’ve spent the time sitting on the bathroom counter working at it. Plus, I can be honest with myself, I’m kind of a hoarder/collector, and I just wanted to have it. So I grabbed it, and SPEAKING OF, this came up on the Anastasia Instagram two days ago.

ABHCKNC
Click through to ABH Instagram.

So these are all the refills that are going to be available for the contour kit. The six original colors, plus all of these new ones. There’s a lot of information available on the Instagram post, but to sum up: the refills/pans are going to be sold individually for $14 each, but if you buy six, it’s $40 and comes with a palette, so it’s the same cost as the original contour kit. So you can basically put together an entirely custom kit. Some of the shades can be used as correctors like for under eye circles and whatnot, which I think is pretty handy when creating a custom kit because you’ll pretty quickly figure out which couple contour shades and highlight shades you like the best and can pop a couple correctors into the other spots. It also says that these new pans will only be available on the Anastasia site for now. So that’s something.

I bought my Contour Kit while the movers were packing up our stuff, but until now, it’s stayed completely untouched and unopened, because all my stuff was packed, which includes my lighted mirror and my Happiness Hippo and all of my makeup. Don’t worry – when I say all of my makeup was packed, I mean packed by hand, by me, into two enormous boxes and placed into the spare bedroom where it wouldn’t be handled by anyone but me. But still, completely packed and not really usable. And it stayed that way (well, I kind of unloaded it into sinks and a bathtub recently) while I waited for my vanity to be ready for use. I did break into my older stuff, but a lot of recent purchases, swaps, and other acquirements have sat waiting for me to get moving on getting my makeup room slash okay FINE IT’S JUST MY BEDROOM assembled and ready to go. If you follow me on Instagram, you might have seen that last night, the final piece to my desk was finally installed and I’ve moved my stuff out of the bathtub.

mvennui

Unfortunately, I only made it so far before I was stricken with ennui.

Also, I realized that there are still a couple of boxes completely illogically missing due to some weird packing, which include my lighted mirror and my Happiness Hippo and my More Than Just a Pretty Face note that Ulta sent me, all of which can be seen in this picture here, and how am I supposed to do my makeup without any of that stuff? Why did I move everything out of the bathtub? What’s the point of it? What’s the point of anything? Oh, I’m thinking about putting a big mirror on that blank wall there, not a decorative one, but one of those big, blank, flat, bathroom slab style ones, what do you think?

SPEAKING OF ILLOGICAL PACKING, YOU GUYS, OH MY LANDS, LET ME GET BACK TO THE MALL.

So we’re at the mall and I’m wasting as much of Penelope’s time and energy as I can, okay? Look:

LASTMALLING

Blissfully unaware there are no malls where she’s going.

MISSINGBRIBE

Ineffective good behavior bribe number eight of undetermined.

When we got home, the packers still weren’t done, of course, since they’d arrived late. Penny and I went back into the guest room where there was no chance in hell of her taking any kind of nap, and Phil and I switched off sitting with her and sitting in the living room awkwardly supervising the dudes putting everything we own into boxes. Eventually, late in the afternoon, they left for the day. They weren’t done and were going to have to return the next day, Tuesday, which was a huge pain in the ass. The estimate was that the whole thing – packing and loading – would take two days, which was why, as I mentioned yesterday, our dogs were boarded Monday/Tuesday. Instead, they were going to be packing alone on Monday/Tuesday and then loading on Wednesday. Ugh. But with moving and stuff like that, all these kinds of things end up having you over a barrel. What are you even going to do about it?

They cleared out for the day and I walked over to the kitchen counter to grab a granola bar. Granola bar. Granola… bar? HUNGRY. PHIL. WHERE GRANOLA. Well. See. The thing is. You know how he had had to stay behind to supervise the packing while I hauled Penelope around all day to keep her out of the way? He actually wasn’t really watching that closely and they packed all the food. All the food we just bought the day before, the food and the paper plates and cups and such that we were going to live on for the rest of the week. All of it. That we just bought. The night before. Gone. At this point, we’d already been eating out quite a bit, and while it wasn’t exactly gourmet stuff we were talking about, it was FOOD THAT COULD BE PREPARED AND CONSUMED IN OUR HOUSE and NO, I did NOT want to order more pizza, everyone put your shoes on, WE ARE GOING TO THE GROCERY STORE. Mama has a ramen habit.

I was slightly – okay, entirely – mollified when Phil had to hike up his pants through the entire store because under his watchful eye, the movers packed his only belt.

We got home and got Penny settled down in her room on the air mattress for the rest of the evening and I came out into the kitchen for my first time to really catch up with Phil in what seemed like days. We’d known we were moving for a long time and things went really slow for a while as we were kind of jerked around by the process, but then everything went SUPER fast, and we just kind of passed each other back and forth for a bit there, with no real chance to even exchange any information, like “Hey, protect our food.”

He came in from the office area and said, “These guys are really thorough, they even packed the stuff in the drawers.”

“What do you mean.”
“You know, those white and orange cabinets in the office, they packed the stuff in the drawers.”
“Do you mean ALL THE DRAWERS?”
“I don’t know, I guess?”
“PHILLIP GENE, YOU PROMISED.”

Now, here I need to back up and tell you a little bit more about what I told you before. If you don’t want something packed, like things you’re going to need during the move – medication, clothing, phone chargers – you need to put it in a “Do Not Pack” area. The movers never came into our spare bedroom because that was our designated area. I don’t own a lot of underpants, so I also put all my underpants in there. Because, you know. My underpants. Also, I don’t own a lot of underpants. I needed them all.

But on top of that, Phil told me that when they move dressers and stuff, they just wrap the whole thing, wholesale, in plastic. Just the whole thing, drawers and contents and all, and move it just like that. So I took something of mine – something of mine – and I put it in Phil’s sock drawer. You know. His sock drawer. Where there were already some other things any way. Some other things.

I took something of mine.

And I put it in the sock drawer. The sock drawer.

With the other things.

Back to our screaming at Phil program.

HE PROMISED ME.

I went running into the bedroom which was FILLED with packed and sealed boxes.

I flung open the sock drawer.

EMPTY.

I looked at the boxes.

ITEM. IT SAYS ITEM. WHY.

ITEM.

You guys. I took my turn sitting on the couch while a man packed up our bedroom. I sat on the couch and smiled at him whenever he walked by.

I was told there would be plastic wrap.

And? AND? The same guy, the bedroom packing one, was the one who came back alone to finish up the next day.

You know what, though? By the time we got to New Mexico, we’d been through so much other stuff with the car rental saga, and our dog, and the ridiculous unpackers on the other end that it all seemed kind of faded. Maybe it wasn’t so bad. How bad could it be, right? I mean, sock drawer. There were socks. How meticulous are strangers with other people’s stuff, anyway? You just dump a dresser drawer and then move on to the next one. End of the day, getting tired and hungry, want to go home. I mean, he didn’t even have time to add an “s” on to “item in drawers.” Clearly not detail oriented. It’s fine. It’s fine.

wemeetagain

We meet again.

Item hand wrapped in packing paper. That’s all I have to say about that.

Speaking of all the soap, here’s three dozen of another thing.

You know what’s just appalling? The state of our environment due to the overproduction and slow landfill decay of single use products and on top of that, holy shit, have you seen how much decent paper towels cost? I am not even kidding you, I will not purchase them. I won’t. I won’t buy them, but I have no alternate solution. I just don’t buy them, and I wipe my hands on my pants or on my shirt or I conveniently drag my boobs across a spill on the counter because that’s how tall I am and I don’t even like that shirt anyway. And then Phil buys some.

Yes, I lay out dishcloths, we have some, and we use them to dry dishes until they’re TOO WET to dry any more dishes, and then they have to sit and dry, or go in the wash. Or there’s one nearby when there is a spill, and we went on this long streak – this INCREDIBLY LONG STREAK, most of it happening while Phil was away for six weeks – where every towel in the house was called into action at the same moment. Like, beef juice ocean, and dish soap in the carpet, and why is water coming out of that pipe, and NO, TOILET, NO. Things that it’s good that you have towels for. Things that you don’t use PAPER towels for. Well, maybe you try to use a paper towel. Like, one time I dropped an entire gallon of milk, it just fell right out of my hands, and I looked all around the kitchen, going, “shit! shit! shit!” I actually say that for real, a lot. It’s unfortunate, but true, but (another but), I’m a person who encounters a lot of shit-appropriate situations.

Anyway, I dropped the milk, and I had my hands THROWN UP IN THE AIR. Like, my body actually reacted in the second least helpful way possible, the first least helpful probably being collapsing into a heap in the spreading pile of milk, and you know what, actually reverse THAT to second least helpful, because at least my clothes would have soaked some up. And I had my hands THROWN in the air, and I’m going, “shit! shit! shit!,” and I grabbed the roll of paper towels! EXCEPT IT WAS JUST ONE PAPER TOWEL! So I FLUNG IT! I FLUNG IT DOWN! And it floated slowly and landed on the puddle of milk, and soaked up, like, one one thousandth of all the milk in the world that was spread thinly over all of the kitchen. That’s why you have DISH towels handy in your kitchen, you know? And that’s why maybe I shouldn’t have been such an ass candle about picking up paper towels once in a while, but I swear on my husband’s poor taste in snack food, have you seen what the hell those things COST?

You can tell me about different brands of paper towels that are cheaper, but I will tell you two things: they’re all too expensive, and I know this, because I have looked at them in the stores with my eyes, so I know that they are all two expensive. Second thing? SHMAZORS. I have made the mistake of trying out a less expensive product when I know that I prefer the more expensive brand, and it is a mistake. You’ve never had a shmazors experience? What about Hunt’s ketchup? NO ONE LIKES THAT. The whole reason that those cute yellow and red picnic style condiment bottles exist is so that unsuspecting people will have Hunt’s or some other LESSER BRAND OF KETCHUP foisted upon their unwilling and innocent food. Or toilet paper. We like the kind in the purple package with the puppy. We have tried other things, and sales may be alluring, but it’s purple puppy all the way, because you don’t want to compromise on price only to find yourself SHMAZORED in your time of GREAT NEED. No, I don’t like how expensive paper towels are, it makes me SHAKE WITH GREAT RAGE, or at least kind of roll my eyes at Phil every time he refreshes the supply I refuse to consider whenever I do the rest of the grocery shopping, but can you imagine just HOW MANY WORDS I would have to say if not only did he bring an objectionably expensive product into my house, but it was also terrible and couldn’t even do its ONE JOB PROPERLY?

Probably at least 2500. Maybe even 3500. It would be a lot.

So I don’t want paper towels in my house. Well, I’m fine with them being in my house, because that part about the environment up there – I’m aware of it, for sure, but… (Let’s just pretend I trailed off and then kind of did like a little thing with my mouth, then maybe looked over your shoulder a bit to see who else was here, maybe some other people had arrived by now, rocked on my heels a bit, noticed my drink was empty, and then kind of just ambled away.)

I don’t want to buy paper towels. I no longer want to participate in acquiring paper towels, because they get used one time and thrown away (“WHICH IS BAD FOR THE ENVIRONMENT!,” you bellow from across the room, but I’m already involved in conversation with these other people and I wave you off with, frankly, a kind of rude hand flap sort of thing and when I reflect on it later, I probably would realize I can’t really hold it against you if you hold it against me) which only necessitates buying MORE, which is the part I just HATE. The buying. I just HATE it. I need to put a stop to the buying. I want to do no more buying. It is too much money on something I don’t get to use for my own personal happiness. Before you go thinking, “WELL, that’s exactly the kind of person I imagine you to be after the way you treated me at that thing that time,” I get some kind of peripheral happiness from the happiness of others, which counts, sort of, but no one gets happiness from the purchase of paper towels for my house, except for maybe Phillip, and that doesn’t count, because if you asked him if buying paper towels made him happy, he’d say yes, but only because the well has already been poisoned, and he knows that saying that would get under my skin, and we’re due a conversation about the fact that we’re on the SAME TEAM, PHILLIP.

Thus, a solution for paper towels is needed. I asked on Twitter who could link me to an Etsy store or the like for Unpaper Towels – it’s a thing – and a couple people mentioned that they just use dishcloths, or bar mops, or various other types of towels, and I get that those solutions work for a lot of people. And that towels for the kitchen already exist, thus me asking for something that sounds weird and invented for no reason might sound a little crazy. But I’ve tried dishtowels, and I’ve tried cloth napkins, and I’ve tried thick towels and thin towels and wash cloths and old prefold diapers, and while we do our best, they just don’t work for us as a replacement for paper towels. A dish cloth can be used a lot of times, but then it is manky and damp and no one wants to use it and it gets thrown in the wash and maybe it is replaced or maybe it isn’t. Or ALL the dishcloths get thrown into BEEF JUICE OCEAN one day. Also? If you couldn’t tell from yesterday’s post about ALL THE SOAP?

excitedswanson

We really like to wash our hands. A lot of times. Many times. Many, many, many times a day. My hands don’t feel especially clean after I wash them and then dry them on a damp dishcloth that’s been sitting by/in/around the sink in the kitchen all day. I can’t pat chicken dry with a dishcloth. Or dry potatoes I just scrubbed off. Well, I can. I can do all those things with a dishcloth. But in the course of cooking one meal, we’re talking about a mountain of dishcloths piling up. Not to mention the fact that we usually use paper towels as napkins with dinner.

Okay, I know in reading that it just sounds like a bunch of excuses a habits that need to be changed in order to do things your way (the general, dishcloth-using you), but we tried using dishcloths A LOT OF TIMES, and it just never took. For whatever reason, dishcloths did not fill the many roles that paper towels filled in our house. We made several attempts at it, and I’d know when it failed because Phil would buy some paper towels. So back to the fact that I decided to try something else, and asked for recommendations for unpaper towel vendors.

In general, unpaper towels are exactly what they sound like – cloth paper towels. Which… okay, I see now why they’re called unpaper towels. Because cloth paper sounds ridiculous. I looked at a lot of different vendors and saw several different options. Some offered flannel in colors or patterns. A popular option seems to be a kind that has a pattern on one side and the towels snap together on the ends so that they can actually be rolled around a holder, like standard paper towels. The most common option, though, seems to be birds eye cotton, somewhere between 10×10 inches and 11×12 inches (preshrunk or not depending on the store), serged around the edges in solid or varigated thread.

I looked at a lot of different shops and eventually went with the shop LoveForEarth, one of several recommended to me on Twitter. I liked the positive rec, plus the fact that it’s a popular shop with a lot of sales and a ton of good feedback. There are a lot of other eco friendly products offered in the shop. I ordered three separate dozens of the reusable napkins/unpaper towels (they seem to be called something different in every listing) in grape, papaya, and rainbow. The shipping took a while, but the lead time was listed in the shop note, so it wasn’t a big deal. Not really. Well. It was within the window, that’s what I’ll say. As far as quality, the serging is nice with no loopiness and all the towels were bright white (not that they stayed that way), and were really nicely packaged. Each dozen was actually thirteen, which was a pleasant surprise. There was some huge variations in sizing, which was strange, considering they’re described as washed and pre-shrunk before sewing even begins, but I got over it, mostly because I talked myself into feeling petty about it.

As for use! We haven’t bought any paper towels! By we I mean Phil. Because I wasn’t going to anyway. I can’t believe how successful they’ve been, but it turns out that the key is that they are actually as close to paper towels as possible. They do this because they are single use, just like a paper towel. We keep them in a basket near the sink, and once used, they go in a laundry bag on the other side of the sink. We need a better solution for that right now, but I’m afraid of the dogs running off with the bag. They don’t sit around all damp, waiting to be used again, though they CAN be rinsed out and laid over the faucet to dry – it doesn’t take long. We use them to dry hands, to wipe spills, to WIPE PENNY FACES!!, as dinner napkins, as cooking towels, as potato dryers, as everything. They are everything.

For washing, when the bag is full, they go in the wash with whatever’s being washed. They came with some washing instructions, but I can’t be bothered to be precious with them. I do remove the dryer bar from the dryer when I dry them, because fabric softener lessens absorbency like with any other towels, but other than that, they just get washed. Obviously they’re stained, we don’t care. And I know that by not following the washing instructions (which weren’t CRAZY or anything, I just knew from the start they were being laundered with clothes, end of), if they fall apart sooner than I feel they should, I’ll technically be to blame, but that won’t stop me from being annoyed. In seriousness, they’re pretty hardy little cloths. I don’t expect them to fall apart. I don’t expect them to do anything but keep wiping stuff.

In fact, we actually need more. I bought three dozen initially, but I don’t know if you heard, we really like to wash our hands. We often have an empty basket and a wet dishcloth on the counter, and now I hate dishcloths, too. I’m going to order a few dozen more – for the three of us, multiplied by freakish handwashing, I think I’d probably like to have six dozen or so. Maybe another set dedicated to cleaning, but I DO actually use old prefolds for that. When I order more, I’m considering Athena Creates, Gnome Clothes, and Man In the Moon Herbs for my next sets, so if anyone has any first hand experience there, I’d love to hear it.

ALSO, in case I described the snap together type poorly, here’s a store where that kind is offered.

ALSO, CHURCH WAS SO GREAT TODAY. I’ll save that for another day!

What’s up, Wrong-o?

I think it’s fine to use the popcorn button on your microwave. It’s arrogant Big Popcorn that wants you to think you can’t use it. Calm down popcorn, you’re just popcorn.

I think if you’re a grown adult and still doing any version of “I liked that before everyone else knew about it” out loud, you’re probably doing something wrong. There aren’t any points for that. You didn’t win. If you liked it a long time ago, you made a lucky discovery before other people got to it. That doesn’t make other people less, or make you more. It doesn’t make their enjoyment of Thing less true or sincere or valid, or your enjoyment of Thing a superior, more deep enjoyment or fanhood. No, rather, now you are two people who like Thing. Two people who can now like Thing together. And that’s good. Liking a thing together is one of the best things about liking a thing. Gleeful and sincere shared enjoyment of a thing is fantastic and there should always be room for more, really. Enjoyment of a thing can’t be used up. Also, stop it. Grow up. Move over, make space.

I bet you’re thinking, we all know this is going to lead into you talking about how much you like Korean television and wish people would watch along with you, but no one is going to watch with you, so you should just stop talking about it. WELL, I WON’T STOP TALKING ABOUT IT. I WON’T. SO GIVE UP, YOU.

PtheLorax

Penelope was the Lorax for Halloween.

I spend most of my time these days in a recliner under a blanket like a hundred year old person in a recliner under a blanket, for reasons I’ll probably eventually get into if I decide to post for all of November because I don’t have thirty days of ideas but it’s actually more likely that I’ll just abandon the project by Sunday. And my recliner is under a ceiling fan that doesn’t turn off, which is just straight bullshit if you ask me. Which, if you ask me, you did, kind of, by reading this blog. Which you did. It’s still pretty warm here in the afternoons and the evenings, when the sun has been warming the house all day, and we actually still run the air conditioning in the evenings and through the night, because Phil likes to sleep at 74 degrees. Which, fine. 74 is a reasonable indoor temperature, right? And in the mornings, I turn the air conditioning off, because I’m cold. Lately, I’ve been returning to the thermostat several times a day, trying to figure out why I’m still cold when I know I turned it up. It turns out, it’s because it’s kind of not hot outside anymore. So while the air conditioning isn’t running, it’s staying around 74 in the house for most of the day, until the late afternoon, when it warms back up a bit.

Now, EXPERIENCE TELLS ME that this cooling trend is going to continue. Soon, it will stay around 74 for more of the day. And then around 73. Or lower. And no air conditioning at all will be necessary to keep it cool in the house. And as the winter season goes on, even in Arizona, the nights will be cooler. Cooler, even, than 74 degrees. We won’t need to use the air conditioning to get the house to Phil’s preferred 74 degrees, which is actually quite chilly with the blowers going at night, especially because we use a fan to keep the air moving and the dog stink from settling on us. Our room in particular can get quite still and heavy with the two of us and the two of them.

So I asked Phil this. I says to him, you like it 74 at night, right? And he confirmed. And I said, soon it will even be cooler than that at night. And he said, that will be nice. And I said, but 74 is a reasonable temperature for the house to be. Well, yes, he said. So, I said to him, we could, in theory, on those cooler nights, employ the HEAT to bring the temperature UP to that reasonable temperature of 74. Maybe 73. 70, even, could be fine. But we could use the HEAT to bring the temperature UP to the place where we are currently using air conditioning to bring it DOWN. Right? Because we agree, it’s a reasonable temperature. And he said to me, no. No, it’s different. Because it’s HEATING versus COOLING.

BUT SEVENTY INDOOR DEGREES IS REASONABLE REGARDLESS, RIGHT? How is it DIFFERENT?

(I know, in some people’s houses you prefer to never run the heat. Or you actually prefer to sleep in the very, very cold. Or you prefer another specific temperature calculated exactly for maximum efficiency and money savings. I know. Everyone is different.)

If 74 degrees is a reasonable house temperature now, achieved with air conditioning, how is it NOT a reasonable temperature (even when I give a few degrees, down to 70) when achieved with heat? HM, PHILLIP? PHILLIP THE UNREASONABLE? PHILLIP THE UNREASONABLE OF UNSOUND ARGUMENTLANDIA?

Speaking of the King of LALALA I CAN’T HEAR YOUR LOGICSHIRE, our three year anniversary was last week.

thankspal

Despite all capslocks to the contrary, we’re quite well matched.

“Oh,” you’re thinking. “Purple flowers and a card of a suitable nature! An anniversary well done!” WELL, GUESS WHAT, WRONG-O. Your new name is WRONG-O.

Do you see there, over to the left side of the picture? It’s Phil, leaning into the fridge, doing the traditional and ceremonial burial at trashcan of all of the leftovers we didn’t get around to eating before I went grocery shopping again. Except the day ended up all crunched and weird, and I actually ended up taking Phil shopping with me. I had a LIST that followed a carefully laid out MEAL PLAN which adhered to our budget, so this on its own was a dangerous endeavor. A Phil in a grocery store is a magnet for cheese products and crackers and cheese product crackers that I never seem to notice until I’m unpacking the groceries. They go into some hidden nook in the cart that only he knows about and I swear he slips the cashier a ten to slide them through while my back is turned and I’m left wondering how I spend six thousand dollars on two packs of chicken breasts and some applesauce pouches. OH, WE BOUGHT EIGHTEEN FLAVORS OF CAPTAIN CRUNCH AND ONE OF EVERY CHEESE THANKS PHIL.

So I lectured him before we went in. I told him, if I come pick you up from work and take you with us (otherwise he’d sit at work an extra hour or so while we shopped, that’s life with one car), you will stay near the cart! Hands where I can see them! AT ALL TIMES! He agreed. And he really behaved himself through several aisles, so I gave him some leeway. I normally don’t buy snack food by a list, but kind of just pick whatever based on what’s on sale, what looks good, and what Phil and Penny like. In the interest of speeding things along, I sent him into the cookie/cracker aisle to “grab JUST A COUPLE THINGS and bring them back.” And to his credit, he did come back with just a couple things and dumped them in the cart. We got everything we needed, we stayed within the budget, it was a successful trip.

SO WHAT’S YOUR PROBLEM, right? Is that what you’re thinking right now, Wrong-o? (That’s you. You’re Wrong-o.)

A few days later, I was looking for a snack to give Penelope. Well, it turns out, on our ANNIVERSARY, of all days, the snack foods I had TRUSTED him to acquire? He bought WHOLE GRAIN Fig Newtons. But it was fine, because he’d gotten two packages. BUT NO. The second package was ALSO WHOLE GRAIN.

As soon as he got home from work, I confronted him with my disbelief, my deep sense of betrayal, and absolute bewilderment that he’d buy TWO packages of whole grain Newtons. And do you know what he says to me, Wrong-o? He says, “THEY TASTE EXACTLY THE SAME.”

Are you feeling it now, Wrong-o? Are you feeling your deep, essential wrongness?

“THEY TASTE EXACTLY THE SAME.”

And then he took it further.

“I bet you $20 that in a blind taste test, you could not tell the difference between regular and whole grain Fig Newtons.”

Well. There’s only one response to that.

I DEMAND HIGHER STAKES.

Life intervened for a little while. A short while.

NEWTON DAY

YESTERDAY WAS THE DAY.
NEWTON DAY.

Phillip, Grand Poobah of Inappropriate Snackfood Choices and Head of the Parliamentary Board of Indiscriminate Tastebuds, administered the test. It was to be a FOUR NEWTON CHALLENGE – if it was just two Newtons, according to him, I’d have a 50/50 chance and there was no possible way success on my part could be credited to an ACTUAL difference between delicious Newtons and sand-wrapped crap Newton-impostors.

I turned my back to the table, and he handed me a Newton. I bit it. “GROSS NEWTON.” I set it down. He claimed I had to eat the whole thing. “I MOST CERTAINLY DO NOT HAVE TO EAT THAT. IT IS GROSS.” He didn’t tell me if I was right or wrong. He handed me another Newton to my other hand – apparently The High Muckety Muck of Newton Testing Standards and Enforcement has his ways – and I took a bite. “REAL NEWTON.” Still, he didn’t tell me. This went on for two more Newtons, for a FOUR NEWTON CHALLENGE.

At the end, I turned around. He looks at me, and he says, “You got them all wrong.”

I MOST CERTAINLY DID NOT.

“Okay,” he says, “You got them all right.”

KNEW IT.

NEWTONCHALLENGE

Ass of Newton Challenge: Kicked

“BUT,” he says. “It doesn’t count.”

HOW CAN IT NOT COUNT. FOUR NEWTONS. FOUR CORRECT IDENTIFICATIONS. CRAP, GOOD, GOOD, CRAP.

“I can’t tell the difference. They taste exactly the same. So it doesn’t count.”

Okay. Okay. So, bringing it all back around. There’s a DIFFERENCE between 70 degrees achieved with air conditioning and 70 degrees achieved with the heating, even though they’re both 70 degrees, and there’s a difference because he can tell there’s a difference. He can tell, therefore, a difference exists.

I successfully complete a FOUR NEWTON CHALLENGE, executed under his own standards and procedures, because I can ABSOLUTELY TELL THE DIFFERENCE between an excellent Newton and a crappy grainy Newton of sadness and woe, but my accomplishments in the field of snacks count for nothing, because he can’t tell, thus no difference actually exists.

Put that in your shopping cart and sneak it past the flowers, WRONG-O.

Nag Lorax

EXCUSE ME, you’re going to recycle that bottle, correct? And compost that apple core?

Super Great

I just don’t know if I’ve ever met someone so great.

 

 

I thought it was going to be all complaining but it’s just mostly complaining.

I had to take a break for a while, due to some health concerns and the fact that my husband was away for six weeks and a Penelope stops Peneloping for no man or blog. Oh, and also, I watch Korean television, like, ALL THE TIME. But when I talk about it, it’s like I’m talking to Penelope, because no one gives a shit or listens or does what I say and then just draws on the wall even though I am RIGHT THERE and saying STOP IT.

Or, at least, I thought that’s why I took a break, but I just logged in here to make a post and it turns out THIS STUPID POST INTERFACE DIDN’T MAGICALLY FIX ITSELF and I guess I wasn’t posting for a while also because everything is stupid.

Anyway, Phil’s been back for a couple of weeks now, and I’ve gone as far as to open WordPress a couple of times to regale you will all of my thoughts, but I’ve stopped short when I’ve realized that most of my thoughts are more like complaints or complainy observations, and there’s bound to be someone who is all, “geeze, don’t you do ANYTHING but COMPLAIN?” and I will point out to you that I just did several months of nothing, so yes, I complain and I also do nothing. So, I’ve just unmade your point for you right there, hypothetical person I made up in my mind largely as a reason not to make the effort to post.

(At this point in writing this post, I updated WordPress, and some things fixed themselves, but I can’t go back in time to two months ago and do that. Sorry.)

FLYING BATHTUB

Here’s my kid in a flying bathtub.
I went to the Phoenix Children’s Museum while I wasn’t posting.
I also started using Instagram.
It was an eventful time.

So during this whole period, most of what was occurring to me to post was pretty complainy stuff (see: health issues, husband away for a month and a half, general predisposition to narrowed eyes and curmudgeonliness in the face of blank text editors), and it was stacking up. I had piles of small ideas for a blog post, but they nearly all fell in the “general grumbling” category, making me feel as though I couldn’t write a WHOLE POST of general grumbling – though I don’t know why I felt I couldn’t, when I’ve made a pretty solid five year blog career of doing just that.

I was thinking a bit about why it bothered me, and it mostly comes down to the trend of pegging anyone who has anything negative to say as someone who must actually be deeply sad or internally unhappy with herself somehow. Or how someone who finds fault with another person  is actually just jealous. I guess it’s pretty tempting to imagine deep faults in another person when they’re finding fault with you, but we all know that’s just something we say to make ourselves feel better, right? That those are completely empty and likely totally untrue words in most cases?

Desert Ridge Market Place

We also went to a splash pad.
She was reluctant to splash.

Listen, all of this is lead up to say this: you can’t send me an email that says: FREE SHIPPING!! as the subject, and then inside, it says, “with $50 purchase.” That’s not free shipping. I basically expect free shipping with a $50 purchase from most of the places I shop, because I do not buy expensive things. That email subject line is bullshit and I hate it, and fucking stop.

Here’s another thing. Phil was gone for six weeks.

Here is another thing. Phil was gone for six weeks, and then he had a week of leave, and for some reason, since he has to shave for work every day, he feels no obligation to shave when he’s on leave, even if his leave is long enough that the only face I can make at him by the end is a hate face.

The helpful hobo

After church one Sunday, this random helpful bearded hobo offered to buckle my kid into her carseat. Thanks, hobo! Go shave. Because you look like a hobo. Hobo.

Hey, I know I have not been totally on the ball with updates here on this site, but hopefully those who are interested in attending PJs at TJ’s in 2014 have already joined the Facebook group. If you haven’t, you can do that now or follow me on Twitter for updates, but regardless of either of those things, you should know that registration opens at 9am west coast time on October 10th, which is this Thursday. All of the details are in the Facebook group so… I still suggest you go ahead and join it for full information. I can’t tell you if it will sell out or not, because I don’t know, or how quickly it will sell out if it does, but the best way to make sure you get a spot if you want one is to sign up for the Facebook group and register when registration opens on Thursday morning. Like always (the whole entire two past years), PJs is not exclusive. Everyone is welcome. There’s no secret in club or list. You don’t have to know anyone to come. You do have to register and it is first come, first in, and that includes people who have attended in the past or who are my very best pals in the whole wide world, so don’t think you don’t have a shot because I’m going to try to pull some tricky shenanigans so only my friends can come. That would make me a big hypocritical asshole, and while I am several kinds of asshole, I am not that kind.

If you have any questions, leave a comment, email me, message me on Twitter or Facebook, whatever you want. I don’t extend personal invitations, nor do I extend personal exclusions. You, personally, are welcome. That’s it. That’s the best I can do to assure you. I’m assuring you.

Penny on Charlie

LOOK AT MY HORSE, MY HORSE IS AMAZING.

Penny also on Charlie

On further reflection, this horse is just okay.

Let this be a lesson to me, I should have just complained when my complaints were hot, imaginary complaint complainers be damned, because now I can’t remember any of my complaints, except for one, which was kind of specific, in that I can, if pressed, name several people that I have, over the course of ACTUAL YEARS, seen do this specific thing, even though I would not actually be thinking of THEM SPECIFICALLY if I was to complain about it, you know what I mean? Like, for example, if I say, “I hate people who jump in the checkout line when they only have one thing, as if it’s their right.”

A guy actually did this to us fairly recently, fairly recently meaning I remember it but don’t have any real concept of the time frame. Just walked up and said, “Can I just get my bananas” and set them on the belt and began to go through the whole checkout process as if it was just a given that it was fine, because we had several items in our cart and he had the MOST IMPORTANT BANANAS IN THE WORLD in his hand.

OUT OF THE WAY, LIFE-SAVING BANANAS COMING THROUGH.

And you know, when I have a full cart, I do often let someone with just a couple of items go in front of me. But that’s my call. On this occasion, we had several items in our cart, but by no means a full load. Maybe we were in a hurry, too. Maybe we had exactly enough time for X items, with X being the number of items in our cart. Not X plus NICHOLAS CAGE’S BANANAS (I assume). How arrogant do you have to be to assume that wherever WE have to be is unimportant enough that it can absolutely, definitely and certainly wait for one banana bunch checkout’s length of time in addition to the time we’ve already calculated for our own shopping? How do you assess the shopping lanes to choose? “Oh, those schmucks there can definitely wait a banana length. They’ve got nowhere banana-important to be. Not like me. OUT OF THE WAY, PEONS. INCOMING BANANAS DESTINED FOR THE BREAKFAST OATMEAL OF THE GRANDSON OF SPUDS MACKENZIE.”

Anyway, so sometimes when you pick a specific complaint to make, like the one I had in my head that, when pressed, I could remember some people I do actually like and consider friends and don’t in any way hate AT ALL maybe doing on one or two occasions, one like “I hate people who jump in the checkout line when they only have one thing, as if it’s their right,” you’ve got to be ready for those people to maybe defend it. And I get that, I guess, because I just said I don’t like something you do, and we’re friends, so obviously I actually hate you.

And someone will say, “Well, I’m actually responsible for buying Nicholas Cage’s bananas.” Or tries to explain how it’s actually a courtesy on their part to stop clogging up the lines with just their one bunch of teeny weeny bananas. Or explain how they only did it one time, but they actually did have a really extremely important place to be that time, more important than anyone else in the store could have possibly had to be. And then everyone feels awkward. Because, what? I’m supposed to start giving arrogant banana line rushers the benefit of the doubt? I’m supposed to issue individual pardons so that a line jumper can mentally reconcile the fact that they can both do something that I personally don’t like, yet still somehow remain my friend? I’m supposed to… continue this awkward stare down?

LOOK, YOU AND YOUR BANANAS NEED TO JUST WAIT FOR THE NOD, OKAY?

And that’s why I had to just scrub one whole complaint from the list, but I think the whole banana guy thing worked out pretty well, because THAT GUY, RIGHT? WHAT THE HELL? “Can I just get my bananas?” Can I just rip off your arm and beat you with the wet end?

Here’s something else. I haven’t talked a lot about makeup stuff recently because I haven’t talked a lot about anything recently, but you need to go out and get Gimmie Brow by Benefit right now, and I will demonstrate the reason with an actual picture of my actual face wearing the actual makeup product I am actually talking about, something I have never actually done on this blog, which is kind of amazing, considering how much I talk about makeup. I went and got my eyebrows done by the most amazing eyebrow lady in all the land, and after the waxed my wonky and odd shaped eyebrows, she used only ONE PRODUCT on them, Gimmie Brow, and this is what they looked like, holy shit, go buy it:

Don't care, eyebrow hair.

Far from the most flattering angle of my forehead wrinkles.
Don’t care, eyebrow hair.

Macy’s, Ulta, Sephora, Benefit site, wherever you’re racking up your bonus points for buying all the awesome holiday gift sets that are coming out. Buy Gimmie Brow. Do it.

Anyway. That’s it, I guess. We’ve still got a lot going on right now. Some stuff is up in the air. Still working on some somewhat difficult health issues.

Oh! But Penelope isn’t! In September, she was pronounced completely clear of all kidney and VUR issues by her pediatric urologist and she was completely released from care by her team at Phoenix Children’s Hospital. All issues related to her failure to thrive and vesicoureteral reflux have been resolved. We passed my “one year catheter free” goal and hopefully she’ll stay catheter free until she epidurals up for her own kid some day.

Penelope's Last U/S

Pro.

And speaking of Phoenix Children’s Hospital, Phil is once again participating in the Extra Life marathon fundraiser for the Children’s Miracle Network, specifically playing for Phoenix Children’s Hospital. Last year, he was playing when Penelope’s surgery was pretty recent. This year, he’s playing shortly after finding out that we’re completely done with seeing Penny’s team at Phoenix Children’s, but I don’t think we’ll be ending our relationship with them – in terms of support – for a long time.

Children’s Miracle Network raises money for hospitals across the United States and Canada, to fund research and buy equipment, but most importantly to us, to pay for uncompensated care. We are lucky enough to be in a situation that Penelope’s expensive care and surgery didn’t burden us financially. For others, Children’s Miracle Network provides the funds to allow families in less fortunate situations benefit from the same excellent standard of care Penelope has received for literally her entire life from Phoenix Children’s Hospital. PCH has benefited our family in more ways than just the top notch medical care they provided to Penelope, and that needs to be extended to as many children and their parents as possible.

ANYWAY, the Extra Life Marathon is coming up! Here’s Phil’s fundraising page. If you’d like to donate, we’d appreciate it very much. If you could share the page on your social networks, we’d appreciate that, too. If you’re feeling crazy and want to stay up for 24 hours straight playing video games and want to support Phoenix Children’s while you do it, let me know and I’ll get you in touch with Phil and he’ll get you started with joining his team. If you just want to think about joining next year, still let me know. We’ll still be here.

That’s it! Thank you!

HO SHIT GUYS PUMPKINS

Victory shoes and Makeup Monday 2: The Balm Apricot Skin Renewal Lotion. And Stuff.

Note: Please save part of this post for tomorrow. Which part you save is up to you. I’m not controlling or anything.

Toward the end of last week, I started to feel crappy, details don’t matter, but I had a rough couple of days, and Phil really stepped up in taking care of things around here and letting me get some extra rest in order to make sure that sort of crappy didn’t take a turn for extra crappy, so on Friday, I was kind of rushing around in the afternoon to pick the place up before he got home, plus do the couple of things around the house that he usually feels like he has to do the second he comes in the door. He’s one of those types, you know, can’t relax until his things are done. So I figured I’d do all the things, and he could just kick back after really stretching for most of the week.

Except things kept happening. You know, after last Monday’s entry, I guess typical Penelope stuff. Stuff I’ve come to expect from a Penelope. I forgot to lock the dishwasher (we have to lock the dishwasher to keep her from getting in it, but that doesn’t stop her from randomly starting it up whenever she wants) and she got out some serving forks. I could hear her with them, so I approached slowly. You have to approach slowly when the Penelope has contraband, because if she knows you’re coming to take it, she’ll run. With FORKS. Or whatever she might have. And if she’s running, and you’re closing in, she’ll throw whatever she’s got, like some teenager with pot running through the woods behind the house party that just got busted, flinging the baggie off into the brush in desperate hope of not being caught but also maybe being able to find it again later. Except it’s not pot, it’s my cell phone and it’s not the brush, it’s probably the kitchen floor. Anyway, this time she didn’t run, but she did throw the forks at my face.

She threw ham at the wall.

When discussing Penelope’s behavior on Twitter the other day – which I don’t do too often, because of reasons, but I wasn’t feeling very well so was just generally totally beaten – someone suggested that I possibly might need to reevaluate what behavior I consider acceptable, because it is hard to believe that a two year old could be that bad all the time. That is, could it be that my standards of behavior for Penelope are much too high, making it seem as though she is constantly misbehaving, when in reality, it is just me, expecting too much from a toddler? Is this just a case of me not knowing that I need to pick my battles? Am I exhausting myself – and probably Penelope – with my impossibly high standards?

No. No, that’s not the case. I let the ham go, y’all. I do choose my battles. I do. If she’s not throwing something at my face, I mostly let it go, with a reminder that in this house, we pass things to each other. We don’t throw.

(Oh yeah, we’re those schmucks now. Come into our house, and you’ll get pulled aside for the little speech, like those, “Oh, we try not to say ‘No,’ we feel like it crushes her spirit,” except it’s more like, “Oh, please don’t throw anything in front of her, not even your car keys to your spouse to move the car, we feel like that’s why she keeps throwing shoes at my face, so if you could just pass things to each other and then make a huge fucking deal about what a great pass that was, that would be GREAT, thanks.” We know we sound like a couple of pass holes. We know.)

This is what’s not okay: hitting, harassing the dogs, eating out of the trash/throwing things in the trash, taking things from the fridge, throwing things at people, failing to obey reasonable requests when it’s very clear you understood and are deliberately disobeying for funsies.

Okay, I admit it, I didn’t totally let the ham thing go.

I... I can't explain this.

In my defense, I just asked her to get it.

So I don’t think I’m unreasonable in my expectations, and as you can see above, she might just be a BIT UNREASONABLE IN HER INTERPRETATIONS OF MY REQUESTS. I’m not saying she’s in any way an abnormal child, I’m just saying that normal is a range and to compose a range, you need to have children at each end. What you’re looking at here is an end child.

After the potato incident I mentioned last week, and the peanut butter incident – did I tell you about the peanut butter incident here? Brinkley ate half a jar of peanut butter, and then Penelope got the jar of peanut butter from the trash, and she had some. That happened. So after the peanut butter incident and the potato incident, we had some deliveries last week. We got some more child locks, and some more Door Monkeys, and a ridiculously priced Simple Human trash can with a pedal and a lock. Of course, after her nap, I turned my back for what I swear was the space of a super human speed bathroom visit and came back to this:

This is just a normal day, though, so no big. I mean, she gets into things, I pick them up. It’s just particularly ridiculous because that day was one thing after another, and, well, okay, she’s sitting in a pile of child locks. The point is, though, that I keep Phil updated on her doings throughout the day, and while he doesn’t ever come out and say it, I do kind of get a “… really?” vibe from him pretty frequently. It can kind of seem like, if he were home, this sort of thing wouldn’t be happening. Aren’t I even watching? How can stuff like this happen so frequently? He’s here every night and all weekend, and he doesn’t see this much stuff happen…

It doesn’t help that, a short time later – and, okay, I admit it, this is all on me – I had put her in her room for sneaking into the locked side of the linen closet (DO NOT EVEN GET ME STARTED ON HER HIDING IN THERE AND NOT MAKING A SOUND WHILE I RAN THROUGH THE HOUSE YELLING HER NAME OH MY GOD) and retrieving soda cans in order to fling them onto the kitchen floor, and I forgot that when I had to chase her out of her room earlier, I had left a tub of body butter on the floor. Okay. That was no good. That was no good at all. Especially because the body butter I have been using on her lately is one of mine (it works), so it is especially stinky and greasy. And it was so quiet in her room, and I went in there, and she was rubbing greasy, stinky body butter all over herself. And her hair. And the carpet. And everything ever.

BUT LET ME GET TO MY POINT, HERE IT IS, PENELOPE SCRIBBLED ALL OVER MY NEW SHOES!!

I slept in a little bit on Saturday, and when I woke up, Phil and Penny weren’t in the living room, or the kitchen, and I wandered into the playroom and didn’t find them. But I smelled some really strong cleaning smell, and I found them both in the guest bathroom. Phil was standing at the sink, with the water running, and my new sneakers that I had just gotten, just the day before, scrubbing at the toes with a magic eraser. Penny had colored all over the toes with a ball point pen.

“I JUST LOOKED AWAY FOR A SECOND,” he said.

ENTIRE LIFE? MADE.

Okay, I will keep you, WITH YOUR PERFECTLY-TIMED SHOE RUINING!

*****

It is Monday again, which means it is time for Makeup Monday, which is the second part of my post, because maybe you are not into makeup, which means you can abandon ship here, but I may not always be so solicitous as to write a whole other thousand words not about makeup, so don’t go getting used to it or anything. Thought I guess you’re totally SOL if you don’t like makeup OR my kid. Are you just hanging around waiting for me to start writing about World of Warcraft again? I mean, it could happen. My account is open. If you are, I mean… I probably should. Just to reward you. Because that is some dedication.

In the spirit of the No Buy, No No Blog, I have actually gone and USED SOMETHING UP from the pile in the picture in the original post detailing all of my restrictions and rules and plans for the whole project. Here is that picture.

So, while this isn’t my entire makeup collection, for my No Buy, No No Blog, this is what I’m working with. I’ll deal with everything in the picture in one of the ways described in the original post before the no buy ends. Well, everything in the picture, plus some things that hadn’t arrived yet at the time the picture was taken.

Today, I’m talking about the product indicated with the arrow – Apricot Skin Renewal Cream by The Balm – as well as some eye makeup remover wipes that came in the Allure Summer Beauty box, and the two facial moisturizers I currently use, and why they can go right to hell.

I am currently using the two facial moisturizers pictured. I’ve got pretty normal skin, I think. It’s not particularly prone to oiliness or greasiness, and I have what I think are pretty standard hormonal breakouts – probably one or two actual pimples once a month, maybe a threatened pimple here and there the rest of the month. Pretty lucky, I think, but I suffered for it mightily when I was younger. I’ve got really irritating patches of dryness, though, on my forehead between my eyes, next to my nose, and sometimes on my chin and next to my mouth depending on how hot my shower was, so I have to moisturize every day and heavily before makeup or my makeup will look flaky and horrible.

The two moisturizers pictured – Cetaphil Daily Facial Moisturizer with SPF 15 and Up & Up Facial Moisturizing Lotion with SPF 15, oil free – can go right the hell to hell, each for separate reasons. I use them in a pretty standard fashion – after the shower and/or before makeup, I put on a pretty thick layer and let it soak in. I put it on my face. My face, where the FACIAL MOISTURIZER is intended to go. My FACE, where I keep both my EYES and my MOUTH, most days.

If I use the Cetaphil, I get a taste in my mouth that I am pretty sure is poison. And it just hovers in the back of my throat for most of the day, ruining things and making life miserable. And look, smartbutticus, I know I’m not supposed to eat it. I don’t eat it. It’s on my face, all smeared around on there, and some of its fuminess kind of gets into the general mouthy area. I’m not rubbing it directly into my tongue. I guess it performs its general moistness duties okay, but the fact remains that when I use it, the back of my throat feels like a little man is standing back there with a fireplace bellows, releasing puffs of TERRIBLE all day long. It’s no good. It’s just no good.

And then there’s the Up & Up. I’m a pretty big fan of Target’s store brand of products, I haven’t had too many stinkers. Well, unless you count shmazors. And for a moisturizer, this does okay. Just okay. It’s not really anything super special as far as under makeup goes, considering my especially flaky spots, but for every day (I don’t wear makeup every single day) and before bed, I don’t mind it. Except for one thing. One teeeeeny, tiny thing. It’s trying to blind me. It gets into my eyes somehow – AND NO, I AM NOT APPLYING IT DIRECTLY TO MY EYES – even hours after application, even if I don’t feel like I am sweating any especial amount. It runs into my eyes when I’m just sitting on the couch, and holy shit, does it burn. It burns to the point that shortly thereafter, I’m barely able to keep my eyes open, what with the tearing up and the flames of hell and the rubbing and the splashing of water. BUT DON’T SPLASH THE WATER. Because that just seems to reactivate all the REST of the moisturizer on the face, which then rushes to my eyes. I’ve actually texted Phil at work near the end of his day to ask how close he was to coming home, because hey, I’m blind, and I can’t afford to show any weakness to Penelope, she kind of has the upper hand as it is. But it doesn’t happen every TIME. Only sometimes. At random. Maybe when Pen-o is about to stage some kind of coup. Maybe there’s a connection. I don’t know. I’m not a Makeup Scientist.

SO AS YOU CAN SEE. My current moisturizer selections are NOT EXACTLY EXCELLENT, so the samples I received in my recent order from The Balm were pretty well timed. I got two, and decided to start with the Apricot Skin Renewal Cream for no particular reason. I actually had a reason at the time, but I don’t remember it.

The Balm website says that this lotion smooths the skin and also slows down the aging process, but a small foil packet is hardly enough product to really evaluate those claims, so what I was really looking for was how it dealt with my problem areas, did it try to poison me, and did it try to kill me and/or enter into cahoots with my daughter?

Texture: I probably should have taken a picture, but I DIDN’T. This is a pretty thick lotion. It’s less liquidy than it is creamy, and has a greasier feeling than the two lotions I’m used to using. It’s not a slap on the face kind of lotion, but more of a rub it in type. It has a higher quality feeling to it than the two I normally use, which makes sense, considering it costs several times more than they do.

It actually made my face feel kind of greasy when it was on, too. I don’t know if greasy is the word. I think makeup people prefer the word dewy. Yeah. I was dewy as shit when I put this on. I used it at night only for the first two applications, which was about all that was in the packet. I wasn’t sure if I’d actually wear it under makeup, because it felt… tacky. Not tacky like the way I usually dress, but tacky to the touch. I kept thinking about that one scene with Jordan and Ted from Scrubs, before she was in that other show that makes up for the fact that she’s not a great actress by just writing for the fact that that’s her face. You know what I mean? I WANT TO TOUCH IT BUT I DON’T.

I didn’t really time it, or do anything really professional in nature like any kind of actual reviewer of products, but normally I put on my moisturizer and let it dry down for a bit, then put some more on my trouble spots before applying my primer and foundation, or BB cream, or whatever the hell I’m going to wear that day. I didn’t really notice this stuff drying down completely for a while. I don’t know how long a while is. You’re going to have to ask someone with a clock. I probably could have gone ahead and applied primer over this, but… I don’t know. Not my style, really.

Poison-ness: I don’t know what something called Apricot Skin Renewal Cream is supposed to smell like, but I’m guessing apricots. It doesn’t. But, good news! It doesn’t smell like poison, either! You know what it smells like? The Dollar Store at Christmas. Or that one store in your hometown that you go in and quickly realize it is really not for you because it’s all dolls or sun catchers or wall plaques with country ducks on them, but you’re the only person in the store in the middle of a Saturday afternoon and the lady who is clearly the owner came out from behind the counter when you came in, so you feel obligated to give a kind of courtesy wander of the store, but the longer you stay, the more it seems like she thinks you might actually be the type of person who is really into country ducks or whatever, so she starts kind of following you and maybe pointing out different things in the store that she thinks you might like, or that are on sale, and, really, if you were into that kind of thing, you’d have to admit, you’d be a FOOL to pass up the deal, but you’re NOT into that kind of thing, and now it’s awkward, and you have to walk out the door without buying anything. So that’s kind of a weird smell for a lotion, and it’s even weirder if you think that it was maybe intended to smell like apricots, because I don’t know about you, but I don’t think country duck when I think apricot. I like apricots.

Kill/Cahoots: No attempts were made on my life during the use of this lotion. This probably could have gone under texture, but it didn’t run at all, and I don’t feel like if it did run, it would have caused any pain to my eyeballs.

Effectiveness: Like I said, the foil packet really isn’t enough to judge if the Apricot Skin Renewal Cream can, you know, renew skin. I got two full applications out of it, and in the interest of the No Buy, No No Blog project and using things up, I squeezed out the last bits and applied them to my most troubley areas, and you know, I was pretty pleased. I ended up just applying makeup in the middle of the night to send ridiculous pictures to Diane and Jonna, but hell of my skin didn’t look kind of fantastic under the clown face. I could actually see using this at night, something a little lighter out of the shower, and then this again on my flakiest areas.

Rebuy: So, would I buy this again? Well, it smells funny, but that kind of wears off eventually. It’s expensive, to me, at $29 for 2.36oz, compared to, say, $7 for 4oz of my usual murder lotion. But can you really talk about price when you’re talking about murder lotion? I have three more lotions to consider in my No Buy, No No Blog project: a Nutrogena from the Allure Summer Beauty Box, a sample from VMV Hypoallergenics that’s been kicking around my tippy piles for a while, and another foil packet from TheBalm – Grapefruit Antioxidant Day Face Cream (spoiler: it smells like the locker room at the YMCA.) I know that the poison/murder lotions are out the door for sure, but I don’t know for certain what will replace them.

****

SPEAKING OF APPLYING THINGS DIRECTLY TO EYES: Simple brand Eye Makeup Remover Pads for sensitive eyes! Yes! Ish! I have definitely applied these directly to my eyeballs in my attempts to learn how to tightline my eyes (which I can now successfully do THANK YOU), and I was not killed, nor was my daughter allowed to launch any of the multiple plots that are surely in any of several different stages of hatchery at any given time. Excellent. EXCELLENT.

EXCEPT.

Any makeup remover pad, when confronted with waterproof makeup, or lots of makeup, or lots of waterproof makeup many times over, like when someone with ham hands is learning a new skill very close to the eyeball, is going to be rubbed over the delicate eye area lots of times. Waterproof eye makeup is tough stuff, and eye makeup remover, especially that designed for sensitive eyes, cannot just go at it with fire and chemicals and burn that shit all to the ground. So it takes some swiping. And swiping. And swiping. So any makeup pad, no matter how intended to be gentle, is going to start to feel like you’re taunting your eyelids with a fiberglass mitten. These are no real exception.

So. If you’re sensitive to actual makeup remover, as in, the formulation of the stuff hurts your actual eyeballs and skin, Simple Eye Makeup Remover Pads for sensitive eyes are an excellent choice. If you’re sensitive to having the eye area rubbed repeatedly with cotton-like pad thingers, well, maybe just rub it once or twice and call it good enough. You know what they say. Tonight’s mascara & eyeliner are tomorrow’s smoky eye.

No Buy, No No Blog.

Something completely and totally unique about me – if you’ve read this blog for any length of time, you’re aware that I find myself to be a unique and varying snowflake, different from everyone ever, a special case, an exception to all of the rules, don’t try to compare yourself, you’ll only annoy me, please, don’t embarass yourself looking for common ground between us – is that I am irritated by paying for things and not using them. You know, like when the fridge is crammed full of food, and you need to put new food in, so you start rearranging, and realize that a lot of the food is overflow from your husband’s CHEESE DRAWER and it’s got mold on it and why do we need an entire drawer of cheese if it’s not even possible for you to eat cheese in an amount measured by DRAWER before it goes bad? I don’t like purchasing cheese by the drawer if you cannot hold a drawer-sized amount of cheese before it’s a drawer-sized amount of mold. I don’t want to pay for mold. I want to pay for a reasonable amount of cheese. An edible amount of cheese. I want to pay for the exact amount of cheese that is going to be eaten in the exact pre-mold cheese window. And I am telling you from experience and experimenting – FAILED experimenting – it’s not a drawer-sized amount.

And the problem with a giant cheese drawer is that you’re never entirely sure what you have. I usually have two half full bags of shredded colby jack at any given time, because CHEESE DRAWER. Something’s always lost in the back of the drawer, causing me to repurchase the same things over and over again. And then you have two bags of moldy cheese.

I have a point. I have two points, actually, the first being that a family of three does not need a cheese drawer. Okay, special exception on your way to the comments, your family needs a cheese drawer. I concede. My family does not need the mold colony that is our cheese drawer. Read above. I’m a special case. My other point is that for a guy who likes cheese so much, Phil is really not pulling his cheese weight in this house. That wasn’t really my other point, but more of an organic cheese-based epiphany I just had. PHIL, ARE YOU READING THIS? I’M NOT SUPPORTING THIS CHEESE-FARCE ANY LONGER.

I like makeup. I think I’ve discussed that enough. I like wearing it, I like reading about it, I like knowing about new things that are coming out, I like having new things that have come out. I like buying it. But having a makeup drawer is a lot like having a cheese drawer. If you just keep buying things, a lot of it ends up in the back, and soon you’ve got two bags of the same cheese. Or, to separate the threads as I intended to do when I inserted a paragraph break with the purpose of leaving cheese behind, you find yourself buying the same color of lipstick over and over and over.

I’ve been on a bit of a buying streak lately. Not in any kind of obsessive or worrying way. I haven’t been running up the credit cards or selling plasma to fund my makeup problem. Hell, I haven’t even been selling my cloth diapers to fund it, and Penny has been out of them for a while now. When I mentioned to Phil that I was considering doing a “no buy” for a while, he was surprised, because like I said, there’s no specific financial issue. We both have our hobbies and we both spend on them responsibly. But then, how responsible is it, really, when I’m buying more than I’ve had the time, lately, to really put to much use? If I’m buying things and they’re just sitting there, it’s like CHEESE. In our CHEESE drawer. Just sitting there with no purpose. Is it even CHEESE if it’s not being eaten? Er, MAKEUP, if it’s not being WORN? It’s just piles of money. It’s owning it just to own it. I’ll start forgetting what I have, buying duplicates of things I already own, things will start going bad. I’m not spending irresponsibly right now, but if things start going to waste completely, then it doesn’t matter how much or how little I actually spent. A waste is a waste. And that just really chaps my ass.

So that’s what brought me to my no buy. Laura is doing one, too, and just posted her rules the other day. I’ve spent some time thinking about my rules, and they’re a little bit different. First, I’m only limiting myself to cosmetic products, because that’s really what I’ve been “collecting” kind of mindlessly. Second, I don’t have a specific time limit on mine, like for a month or two months. Here is the other issue. Another thing that I pay for and don’t use is this site. It really gives me the red ass to pay my hosting bill and then let the site sit here. Like some of Phil’s cheese. I am not concerned about lost audience, or lost revenue opportunities, or the – okay, stop me right here before I go off on a tangent about the false cries about blogging being dead and your inability to look outside your own dying circle does not translate to the actual medium being dead and holy shit, you do not own nor did you create the Internet and a whole new generation is coming behind you so just MOVE OVER if you can’t handle the new developments and STOP WHIN — it just irritates me to PAY for it and not DO anything with it, you know? And like last year, since PJs, I’ve been kind of loafing.

So I got this bucket, and I went over to the former snack door, now makeup door:

SPACE SAVER!

And I grabbed just about everything that I’ve purchased since PJs. I think. Pretty much everything. That covers the last few months.

Now, I am not a beauty blogger and I never intend to be. I don’t have any makeup application skills, I don’t take good pictures, and I honestly have zero interest in doing any videos. But I can tell you what I think. Some of this stuff I bought specifically intending to at least provide swatches of the colors – those little baggies on the left side of the picture are all samples from indie cosmetic companies, and I know a lot of people are interested in hearing about them. And some things in the picture, I mentioned buying them on Twitter and when asked, said, “Oh, I am totally going to do a post about that.” And then didn’t. Some of these things I’ve been using for a little bit now, and like them. Some of these things I’ve tried and am not sure about. Some of these things are unopened, waiting for me to get a chance to sit down and swatch the colors and take some pictures like I really did intend to. Some I just haven’t gotten around to at all.

And, okay, I admit that this isn’t everything. There’s another ten eye shadows coming from another indie company, along with some blush samples (lilac!), plus a Tarte brow mousse I ordered from HauteLook before I started my no buy, and my Allure beauty box should be arriving today – you can see Laura’s unboxing here for what-all is in it.

So my OWN No Buy, No No Blog rules – my personal no buy applies to all cosmetic products (excluding body wash and face wash, because when I run out of what I have, I’m buying more). On top of that, I also have to get around to writing about the indie companies that I intended to write about when I bought the samples. On top of that, any products that I also considered writing about when I bought them (one of those makeup brushes is actually a paint brush, for example). Also, any product that anyone comments on today’s post that they are interested in hearing about. Lastly, everything else in the picture has to be dealt with in one of three ways – mentioned here, used until it’s gone, or given/thrown away if it’s not for me. After all of those things are satisfied, I can buy stuff again.

ONE BIG NOTE: I don’t actually have any intention of turning this into a beauty blog, though. This isn’t a post saying, okay, until I get through all of this, all my posts are going to be makeup posts. Because I don’t actually have that much to say about makeup, contrary to these 1500 words, because let’s be fair, a lot of them were about cheese. The No Buy, No No Blog is only intended to spur me into opening the new post screen, and to hopefully tack on a couple of words about eyeliner as well.

Okay. Who else is doing a No Buy? Or a No No Blog? Or wants to know about something in the picture? I should have made the picture blurrier, in retrospect.