Tag Archives: someone’s going to take personal offense to this

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.

I won’t adjust to this and you can count on me for this. These are two different things.

I have three different things I need to inform you about today, three totally different and completely unrelated things. I was thinking that a novel way to tell you about three different and totally unrelated topics would be to write three totally different and unrelated blog posts and then maybe even post them on three totally different days, maybe even three consecutive days, but it turns out that that’s just not the way I wobble. Much like I now literally live in the actual middle of the actual desert, so too does this blog exist as a bunch of nothingness with occasional giant blobs of stuff. I guess in this comparison I am the giant blob? I think in my old age I’ve stopped giving even half a crap about whether or not people like me or not because I don’t have time to waste a thought on it when I’m sitting here thoughtlessly analogizing myself to a giant blob. If you’re out there not liking me, take an early lunch, I’ve got it handled.

First, a small thing. I’m adjusting to living here, but it’s in increments, because when you move, it’s not just that you have to get used to a new place and you get used to your new place in a big chunk as a place and that’s that. No, there’s a whole lot that goes into it. You have to shop in new stores and go to a new church and the traffic patterns are strange and people drive like different kinds of everyone’s a total idiot except for me. The washing machine is on the other side from where it was in the other house and Penny’s got toys in her room in this place and she didn’t in the other so she just does not go to sleep at night for hours at a time and I don’t care, just stay in there, because my bedtime is still 7pm. Nothing is in the place is used to be in and this house is arranged in a way that is completely unfriendly to my style of watchful yet gently neglectful oversight kind of parenting. I’m just saying, you can’t just sit in a new state, look around after a couple of weeks and say, “Well, I’m adjusted.” One thing at a time. One small thing at a time.

And sometimes? You don’t adjust. You don’t adjust to everything. And that can be fine, I guess. Not everything is going to be okay in your new place and maybe you’re going to have to come to terms with that, or not come to terms with that, and live with the fact that you’re not going to come to terms with that, and that you’re going to live with a non-adjusted something for however long, until you can get back to the way things should be. Maybe it’s healthy, once in a while, to live for a bit with something that is just not the way things should be, to experience something a little uncomfortable. That’s how people grow as people, right? You get a little uncomfortable and you really face up to what it’s like to — you know what, I’m just going to tell you, low flow toilets are an abomination and I shouldn’t have to live like this. The whole point of the toilet is to remove the evidence of the crime from the scene. I appreciate what you’re trying to do by going low on flow but you can only go so low. No. No. I object. These things leave me feeling like I’m either the world’s worst housekeeper or some mustache-twirling anti-environment villain with a heap of glowing barrels under a tarp in the backyard, just waiting for my next dead of night trip down to the river for a little stealth pollution.

I hate them. I refuse to adjust. I refuse. Whose idea was it? I mean, honestly. I get it. “I have an idea: less water in toilets!” Okay, good. I see where you’re coming from. But something went wrong along the way, or maybe you franchised and got lazy with vetting your franchisees, low water toilet guy, I don’t know, but walk the line once in a while, because it’s ugly out here.

I don’t know how to break between this and the next completely and totally unrelated idea (again, maybe a day would be good, but no), so here’s a picture of something.

pennytothesplashpad

Surprise, it’s my kid.

This second thing isn’t so much an actual thing, but something I want to establish now so that we can all lean on it for the future and I can call back to this time that I established it. Remember that episode of Friends where Paolo hit on Phoebe and Phoebe needed to tell Rachel about it, so she made her some cookies and used the fact that she made the best cookies to back up the fact that she never lied? That was killer technique right there, but I can’t do that, because it’s already established on this blog that I actually have made up good lies for fun, good lies that are so good that other people have reported back to me that they themselves have told other people the same lie about me. Oh, and also, when I was in college and for a while after, pre-Tobias, I used to tell people that I hated to be naked so much that I had a mitten that I called my shower mitten, and when I showered, I would put it on one hand and stick that hand outside of the shower to keep the mitten dry and use the hand inside the shower to wash one side of my body, and then I would turn around and put the mitten on the other hand and stick that hand outside the curtain and wash the other side of my body. And people would look at me sincerely and say, “Oh, wow, really?” No, idiot. I definitely made that shit up, what is wrong with you. Even if I did hate being naked that much, why wouldn’t I wear a bathing suit? Why wouldn’t I wear a mitten I could get wet?

 Anyway, don’t worry, I’m older now and I stopped doing that to people. If you think that chastising past me for my behavior is a good use of your time, let me know when your DeLorean is ready and we can go together, because I know exactly where and when my Elvis Zippo fell out of my car at the gas station. Besides, I have a kid now, and I can put way less effort into my lying and the lies come premade, and I only have to embellish some details about exactly how Santa gets into the house and why she found our shelf elf Roland Oriol in the bottom of a packed box in the laundry room. Also some family classics about unscrewing her belly button to watch her butt fall off. And I promise you, when her butt doesn’t fall off, I don’t call her an idiot. I just tell her I must not have twisted enough. This time. The point is, as long as I’m continuing to tell lies, even butt-centric ones to toddlers, there’s no way I’m going to convince you I never lie.

But that’s fine! Because I’m not trying to establish myself as a non-liar! I was just using that Friends example because I don’t remember anymore why. I had a reason when I started. No one made a pass at me, there’s just something about me I need you to know, going forward, so that I don’t have to tell you again – we can all just accept that it’s true and you can believe that it’s a thing about me that is A Thing, and you can rely on it as something that won’t let you down, like the fact that Phoebe was telling the truth when she said Paolo made a pass at her, because she backed up the fact that she never lies with the really good cookies. HA, TENUOUS CONNECTION, BUT I THINK YOU CAN SEE HOW I WAS CIRCLING AROUND THERE.

So, this is the thing: I am really very, very serious about saying something is “just as good” as a more expensive version. That is what I want you to know. In the past, I’ve said something inexpensive that I bought was probably just as good as the expensive version when I hadn’t even tried the expensive version, so I don’t know what I possibly could have thought I was saying. Since then, there have been several cases where I’ve had the opportunity to replace my less expensive things with their more costly counterparts to find that in some instances, more money meant more better. Obviously. Sometimes I had the cheaper option as a temporary measure until I could afford what I really wanted, but other times, I really assumed that there wasn’t/couldn’t be a difference and said as much. I’ve adjusted my stance on low cost/high cost versions of the same item over time.

Don’t get me wrong – I still want to pay as little as possible for everything, always. If you follow me on Twitter, you’re probably aware that I will helpfully enable you to do the same as often as I can. It’s just that I am way more hesitant to dub a generic or drugstore product and its name brand or higher end equivalent to be “just as good” as each other without thorough investigation. You know, like actually owning both products, past self.

There are a lot – a lot – of products where I will only use name brand. Like ketchup. Do not even approach me with watery, grainy garbage. No, I won’t try. I won’t give it a chance. I won’t. I don’t care if you think I’m a great big cents-waster, they’re my cents. And there are also a lot of products where I will only buy generic because I just do not give a crap. I’m drawing a definite line here between “just as good” – like how generic ketchup is NOT AT ALL JUST AS GOOD AS HEINZ – and “good enough for my needs.” There are plenty of types of products that have varietals all along the price scale, and my needs are met somewhere near the lower end. More needs could be met with more money, or someone else’s needs may not be met til closer to the top of the ladder, but for whatever reason, I’m happy close to the bottom with that particular product. Like lip gloss for example.  I buy drugstore lip gloss by the armload. I like it. I like it a lot. There is nothing that lip gloss does that is worth more than $8 to me. This is obviously different for everyone. I won’t buy drugstore eyeshadow. I just can’t do it.

AND LET ME TELL YOU A SEMI-COMPLICATING FACTOR. When there’s a product that is kind of pricey – or not even pricey, really, but just, you know, costs more money than another product, and I buy it, and it performs as promised, I get LEGITIMATELY PISSED OFF. Oh, how dare you be worth your cost. Asshole. I don’t know why. I just get mad. I think it’s because I’m ashamed to report to people, a little. “Yeah, I bought the thing that cost the money… but, guys, it shot rockets out its butt.”

EXAMPLE: The Wet Brush. I’m going to steal a picture from the Internet because mine has hair in it.

Thefreakinwetbrush

Image from The Wet Brush

Okay, so this is The Wet Brush, and it’s for your hair when your hair is wet. It looks like all the other brushes that I buy when I eventually lose my brush. It is the same shape. It has the same black bristles with the same plastic knobbly things on the ends. It is the same. It looks the same. Except this brush costs $9 and a “just as good” Conair brush with the same black bristles and the same plastic knobbly things on the ends costs $5. Is that a huge difference? No. It’s not. But when you’re at Target and you’re throwing things in your cart the way that you do at Target, all those little $4 differences and whatsits are what happens to cause that phenomenon known as “WHY CAN I NOT GET OUT OF TARGET FOR LESS THAN $100?”

I don’t know what happened, though, I bought it. I have so much hair. I just have so much hair these days. I can’t wear it up when I sleep because the size of the knob it forms on my head makes sleeping impossible. So I wear it down, but every time I turn over, I have to raise my entire upper body off the bed and negotiate my sheet of hair to my other side first in order not to inadvertently strangle myself. It’s a whole other misery when it’s wet. I took a shower before taking Brinkley to the vet the other day and threw on jeans and a t-shirt while I ran around getting him ready to go before Phil came home to stay with Penny. I was just putting my hair up in a ball of hot mess when he got home and turned around to ask if my shirt was soaked through down the back from where my hair was laying. Of course it was. Super.  “Don’t worry,” he told me. “It’s muggy out there. People will just think it’s sweat.”

Neat.

Before you ask, the idea of cutting it short to alleviate these problems has never once occurred to me because simple solutions to daily frustrations aren’t my style.

ANYway, I got this brush, The Wet Brush, and I’ve had it for a while. I’ve had it for a long while, actually, so long that it just feels like a brush to me. It didn’t even occur to me that I should say anything about it to anyone, because it’s just a brush. It’s just a brush with the same black bristles and the same colored plastic knobbly things on the end and I paid nine stupid dollars for it like some kind of idiot who doesn’t know that you can get a brush and wrestle it through your hair after a shower for only five stupid dollars. Because I do have to wrestle it through my hair. I still have to spray detangler and leave in conditioner into my hair and I still have to tug the brush through and if I wait too long after I get out of the shower, I still have to hold the ends in my fist and brush underneath where my hand is, you know that maneuver? So it’s just a brush and the other one is just as good.

BUT THEN I MISPLACED IT. And I grabbed a regular Conair brush – one of the $5 ones, not a fancy one – off the bathroom counter and I put it to my scalp and IMMEDIATELY yanked my hand back. I hadn’t even drawn it down through my hair yet, I just TOUCHED IT TO MY HEAD, and I pulled it back and looked at it accusingly. WHOA, BUDDY, a bit aggressive there, HM? That thing THUDDED into my head. With force. I don’t know what it was trying to do and what its intentions were, but I tell you, there was no kindness in its approach. Not the same black bristles! Not the same knobblys! Not the same AT ALL. After beating me lightly about the skull, it quickly reminded me of what I’d left behind when I jumped ship for The Wet Brush.

PAINLOTSOFPAIN

 In short, no. NO. Not “just as good.” Not JUST AS GOOD AT ALL.

And listen, you can trust me on that, because I take “just as good” very seriously. I hope we have an understanding on that going forward.

THING THREE!

Actually, thing three is going to have to wait until tomorrow, because it was going to be The Main Thing of the post, which I started to write before lunch, but then Phil came home at lunch at there was a Major Development in the thing, expanding it into an even bigger thing.

In place of Thing Three, here is a minor life update:

Before we moved, I gave you a really long but still actually brief summation on what was going on in our lives, including a really sketchy overview on what is going on with the Air Force and voluntary retirements and nonvoluntary retirements.

Well, just before we left Arizona, we got an update on that situation. The timing wasn’t right just then to share this news, but we found out a couple days before the movers came that Phil’s career field has been closed out for nonvoluntary retirements. He will not be facing the Enlisted Force Retention Board this year.

The whole process will be repeated again next year, which isn’t cool at all, but after that, the plan (ha!) is that it should be finished completely. While it’s still not in our plans for Phil to retire next year, it’s nice to have it off the table for this year and to have another year to make plans in case it does happen next year.

That’s it! Meet you back here tomorrow!

150 WHATS?

150 what?

150 days since I last posted? No! You might think so, but I actually posted on Monday!

150 days until the next time I post after this time? That’s possible!

150 words in this post? That’s unlikely.

IMG_20140312_165238

150 lipsticks in these MUJI drawers that finally arrived that I will tell you all about in definitely less than 150 days because I’m in love with them and I’m convinced they’re the solution to my makeup being all over my Safety Bathroom counter (I had had it all nicely organized in the two ridiculously pathetic teeny tiny not actually even drawer-drawers in the counter itself, but I can’t work like that, I need to see everything, so within a couple of days of getting it all nicely stuffed away, it was all everywhere all over again, but now it WON’T BE because it’s in CLEAR DRAWERS, which are definitely the trend in the moderately-sized-makeup-collection world (with IKEA ALEX drawers obviously being the top choice in the mega-collection sector), but it’s a trend for a reason, because people with collections need to SEE THEIR STUFF, I am SAYING)? Anyway, no. There aren’t 150 of anything in there.

NO! None of that stuff.

ACTUALLY, Penelope is 150 weeks old today. I didn’t calculate that. You sign up for all these things when you’re first pregnant and they follow you forever.

So Penny is getting really close to three years old now, that’s next month, but I haven’t been updating too much recently, and I figured if I just suddenly sprang that on you, “HEY, PENELOPE IS THREE!,” you might be shocked at the passing of time or maybe might even have forgotten that I had a daughter in the glow of my MUJI drawers or maybe these new Sigma brushes I was finally pestilence-free enough to touch, but not yet enough to use, it seems the age of approaching-three carries with it deadly accuracy for coughing directly into my eyeballs and up my nostrils and also licking Cheetos before offering them to me as a snack:

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Have not yet worked out a brush storage solution.

You can tell which brushes are my new ones because they’re the ones that look like I actually practice what I screech about regular brush washing. It’s okay. I’m excited about all the things I totally promised you I was going to post about, too. (I didn’t forget any of them: the skincare stuff I use, the foundation hunt I went on, the new brushes, the Hourglass powder, the Makeup Geek shadows, and some other stuff I’ve picked up here and there.) It’s totally understandable if you forgot all about Penny in the whirlwind of the entirely too much shopping I did in the start of the year. I left her in an elevator in my rush to Sephora once. That is not true. That’s why I’m easing you up to her birthday with this update on Penelope at 150 weeks old!

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At 150 weeks old, Penelope is pretty average size. She’s not very big or very small. We think she’s huge, of course, but she’s not. Since she’s a former “failure to thrive” baby, though, she is always going to look like a giantess to me. I remember after we got her out of the hospital after that first time with the failure to thrive diagnosis (which was actually due to a whole other thing) and she was creeping up on 11 lbs as a 4.5 month old baby, I proudly said to her pediatrician who I really liked at the time, “Isn’t she HUGE?,” and the doctor says to me, “Oh, honey… no.”

ASIDE: When I’m King, probably the ninth or tenth order of business is going to be RENAMING THAT AWFUL “failure to thrive” PHRASE FOR THE LOVE OF SHIT, maybe to something like, “Parents Trying Their Very Very Hardest But Baby Not Making With Growth” or “Parents Obviously Working Asses Off at Trying to Be Parents, Child Already Showing Propensity for Not Going Along with Plans” or “PARENTS VERY CLEARLY GOOD PEOPLE WHO ARE DOING NO WRONG AND REALLY TRYING VERY HARD AND SOMEONE GET THE MOTHER A TISSUE AND A CHAIR AND EVERYTHING IS GOING TO BE FINE WE WILL HANDLE THIS TOGETHER” syndrome.

Anyway, I don’t know exactly how big she is, but she’s almost three and she comfortably wears 3T clothing, so I guess about average. That seems about right to me. At her last well check, she was hovering right in the 40th percentiles for height and weight, but setting that aside, she looks good. All her bendy parts bend and her straight parts are straight. She does all the running and jumping with both feet, stacks things and kicks them, and does everything well enough that I haven’t even thought to glance at a milestone chart since she was just turning two, probably. No reason to even think about it. That’s been nice, considering Early Intervention was at our house at this point a couple of years ago. No need to even save that paperwork anymore.

I realize that none of what happened leading up to Penelope’s birth or what happened while I was in labor or right after her birth or her own health issues for her first two years are going to have any affect on her life going forward. Rationally, I know that. We completely closed the books on her kidney issues back in September – we don’t even have to go to the emergency room for a high fever anymore. Well, of course we do for a spectacularly high fever like anyone else would, but we used to have to – anyway, it was a thing. The last thing, and now we don’t have to do that, and I think now I for real really realize that EVERYTHING is done. Technically before now, but right now, at 150 weeks, done DONE. She’s here, full size, no heart issues, no breathing issues, no kidney issues, and just a scar left from surgery that even almost already totally faded away. And everything happened and resolved in just 150 weeks! That’s hardly any time at all (yes it is, it’s forever).

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If you meet Penelope at 150 weeks, the first thing she will say to you, almost definitely, is “Wanna see my cool trick?” The cool trick is almost always putting her head on the ground and one leg in the air. Unless you’ve seen that one. If you’ve seen that one, the cool trick is totally improvised on the spot. I don’t know what it might be. She might throw something at you. Definitely ask her to show you the one with her leg in the air again, it’s the safest.

She really likes Toy Story (the first one and the second one, she might like the third one but I’ve banned it when I’m in the playroom because I think it’s dumb and it doesn’t make sense) and Monsters Inc. She also likes Handy Manny and Trotro. But her absolute favorite thing to do is to stream the iPad to the television (Phil and I don’t actually know how she does this – we know it can be done, it’s just that she takes the iPad and does it herself, we’ve never arranged this for her) and watch video after video of this woman unboxing and playing with various PlayDoh and Barbie toys. She somehow locates a playlist from the suggested videos on YouTube, sets it to go on the television, and then goes about her own normal playing in the playroom accompanied by videos of an adult playing on the television. Phil likes video games. I only watch Korean television. We’ve all got our things.

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One of my very favorite things about Penelope right now is the way she talks. She’s a pretty decent talker, as I’ve mentioned before, but she has her mispronunciations like any toddler. And like any parent, I’m pretty attached to them and I’ll be sad to see them go. It’s not things like “emergery” for “emergency” that are my very favorite, though. No, these are the ones I’m working my hardest to mimic in order to preserve:

  • pooth taste
  • poilet taper
  • beep death

Of course when I go to write them down, I can’t think of more, but those are some of Pen’s most common types of mispronunciation. Other kinds don’t really stick around too long. She gets very frustrated when she doesn’t say a word correctly and will specifically request help, “I can’t say word, help me say word.” It’s kind of shitty, adorable toddler-speak is supposed to be part of the deal, but I’m hanging on to poilet taper as long as possible.

My other very favorite thing about her is that she is SO into whatever Phil and I are into. She wants to be with us and around us and do what we’re doing and make us laugh and make us happy and she mimics us and acts like us and does things that she thinks we’ll like. None of that is revolutionary or unique to Penny or something that I think my super special kid does that yours doesn’t. It’s just something that’s really great. She loves to sit with Phil and press the jump button while he plays video games. She says, “Mama, can we go in your Safety Bathroom and do makeup?” and it is the genuinely VERY BEST THING THAT EVER HAPPENED TO HER EVER when I say yes and I wonder why I don’t say yes more. Ugh, why don’t I say yes more? I should.

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At 150 weeks old, Penelope does whatever the hell she wants. I mean, we tell her what to do, and she hears us, but then she doesn’t do it, or she keeps on not doing it, or keeps on doing what we told her to stop doing. Three is really soon, and Phil and I have turned to each other with slow motion horror face and realized three is not going to be any better than two, it’s actually louder and throwier and screamier and people in public can actually hear what she’s saying to us when she’s being kind of awful. And I know those of you with kids who have already gone from two to three are like, I knew it, or I told you so, or I wanted to tell you so, or I’m about to go to the comments because I actually want to tell you so some more, but look, we went through two and it was a challenge and you kind of think, it’s okay, three is coming, and it will be different, and I guess our minds didn’t really ALLOW us to think it might be different BAD, but you know what guys, I think it’s going to be different BAD.

Not bad like my CHILD is bad, because she’s not. SHE’S NOT. She’s fabulous. Look at these pictures. SAY POILET TAPER OUT LOUD. JUST ONE TIME. Penelope is fabulous. But toddlers, man. They will make your (my) shoulders curl down and then your (my) neck bend until your ears just settle right into the little shoulder cave you (I) made and just consider moving in there. Just move into the shoulder cave and live there. For a while. A long while.

Oh gosh. PENELOPE IS A HUNDRED AND FIFTY WEEKS OLD. Can you BELIEVE everything that has even happened? CAN YOU EVEN.

Here, ignore the rest of us in this picture.

IGNOREUS

 

You know who is great? This guy.

P&PPG

I know that tomorrow is Veteran’s Day and if I’m going to be talking about how great Phil is, I should probably frame it somehow in terms of his military service, and it’s not that I’m not appreciative of his service and the service of the people he works with and all the men and women before him, but he just really doesn’t bring it home all that much. Well, except for some things that are up in the air right now, but that’s a whole different thing for a whole different day I’m probably not going to get around to because I don’t feel like trying to get Phil to explain it to me, because Phil is SO GOOD at SO MANY THINGS, but the guy is absolute crap at explaining things. I mean, just garbage at it. He starts talking like we’ve been in the middle of a conversation for half an hour, only my half has been going on in his head, so I’m just actually dropped in the middle with no clue what I’m supposed to have picked up in the previous half hour. Or like I’ve been working right along side him in the Air Force, with all the attendant knowledge, for the last sixteen or so years. Not only have I never been in the Air Force, but 16 years ago, I was 15. So, no, Phillip. No.

I only hope he doesn’t explain things to his coworkers as if they’ve been married for three years.

BUT WAIT, WE’RE TALKING ABOUT PHIL’S GREATNESS.

I’m not saying I don’t appreciate him on Veteran’s Day, I do. It’s just that before I knew Phil, it was easier to appreciate veterans because they were abstract kind of people who had served in the military, and that was their defining feature to me, and that was a pretty fine defining feature, if you’re going to have one, right? But I know Phil, and he has served in the military, and continues to do so, but we’ve also been together for five years now, and we drove all the way across the country together without killing each other, and we live together, and we’re married, and we have a kid. So he’s a guy in the military, but he’s also my husband, and he’s Penelope’s father, and the guy who does the dishes, and the guy who, even if I do the dishes which hardly ever happens, will start up the dishwasher for me because I don’t like to touch the dishwasher soap chunk thingies because they feel gross. He does a lot of things.

I’m not campaigning for a better appreciate a Veteran’s Day, or saying that we need to all TAKE A MINUTE and recognize that these men and women have done MORE and ARE MORE than just people who have served in the military. Of course they are. Duh. Everyone knows that. It’s just that this is a holiday set aside to recognize a particularly large thing that they have done. Incomprehensibly large, in some cases. WHAT I’M SAYING IS, that when I sat down to put up a picture of my husband with a caption that said, “Woo! Veteran’s Day! Woo!,” for me, about THIS PARTICULAR ONE SINGLE GUY that I am writing about in this post, I felt like I also wanted to put in SOME MORE STUFF.

(“Oh, you were writing a post and found that you wanted to include more stuff? How shoooocking,” you say.)

I’ve had about enough of you.

Let me start over.

Hey, did you know that tomorrow, possibly today if you are not reading this in the middle of the night, is Veteran’s Day? Did you know that my husband is currently in the Air Force? Did you also know that in addition to his military service, he is awesome in several other ways? Did you also know that this is my blog, and that after failing to justify combining Veteran’s Day with My Husband is Also An All Right Guy in Many Other Ways Day, I’m just going to do it anyway?

I’m in a bad mood now. I just don’t want to talk about heavy stuff, but I still want to, you know, acknowledge. I don’t want to offend anyone by not doing it correctly or taking it lightly, and it’s not that I think of the holiday lightly. I don’t at all. I just want to point out that I know it’s happening, and I know what my husband does, and I know that what he does is a thing, and he knows what he does is a thing, and actually, I know it more than he knows it, sometimes, I think. He’s been in the military long enough that he’s completely out of touch with how civilians view the military.

Well, that’s not true. I think he’s aware of some of the weird fringe that absolutely hate anyone in the military. But he’s genuinely boggled whenever anyone thanks him, which happens when he’s out in public in uniform. He feels awkward and doesn’t know how to respond, and I really think he doesn’t understand why people come up to him out of the blue to SAY SOMETHING to him. And I think I gave up a couple of years ago – I don’t know how many more ways I can say to him that that’s how people FEEL. People – real people – civilian people, of which he apparently is no longer one. Obviously. But he’s been in the military since he was 21. It’s just who and what he is, and it’s not that he doesn’t get the concept that people are appreciative, but he can’t seem to internalize it. Today we were at church, and it’s a big church, even with five services every weekend it’s still packed, so lots and lots of people, and the veterans were asked to stand and be recognized, and there was applause and appreciation and I didn’t even have to turn my head to know he hadn’t stood up.

And don’t even for one second suggest that he’s ashamed or embarrassed of what he does, because he’s not. It’s just that, I guess, to him, he’s a guy who does his job. He’s been doing it for so long, and surrounded by other guys who have been doing it for so long, and day to day, it is just a job – he works in an office and he comes home every evening right now, though of course there’s no guarantee it stays that way for any set length of time. And they don’t sit around in their offices congratulating each other on what a job they’ve taken on, and I truly think he’s fallen out of touch with how much other people truly don’t want to do it. How much other people don’t want to have to do it. Or how much other people don’t want their children to have to do it. How in other countries, everyone does it, and people know that. People know that a country has got to form a military, and if it’s not by volunteers, it’s by voluntolds, and it’s only as long as there are people volunteering to take on that job that other people’s children aren’t being told they have to do it.

I don’t think any of that goes through his head when someone comes up to say thank you, or when someone at the front of a room or auditorium or stadium or what have you asks all the veterans to stand up and be recognized for what they did or what they do. I gave up on explaining the civilian view of the military to him a long time ago, I think. I don’t really remember when. Maybe when I started appreciating him way more for all of the other awesome stuff he is.

Also, I got sick of going around with him about insurance after a few times explaining why I couldn’t go to the doctor before we met.

“Why didn’t you just make an appointment and go?”
“Because I had no time to take off work.”
“YOU HAD TO TAKE VACATION TIME TO SEE A DOCTOR?”

“Why didn’t just make the follow up appointment and go?”
“I couldn’t afford it.”
“But you had insurance.”
“Yeah, but it wasn’t covered.”
“But you had INSURANCE.”
“WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT HOW REAL PEOPLE INSURANCE WORKS.”

I’d ask Liz to back me up, but I’ll just have a stroke and she’d probably go right into labor. Oh yeah, big thumbs up to her husband, too. Non-insurance-grasping vets. Nab one for yourself!

Anyway. My husband. He’s great. In several ways. You will probably just be able to appreciate him as a veteran, and also because most of these pictures of him also feature Penelope.

P&PSB

Okay, several also feature food.

philstare

I get this a lot.
It means he loves me.

toddlerscience

TRYING SCIENCE.

airport2

Totally outstanding at moving airport reunions.
I was moved. I was totally moved.
I was moving away very quickly because six weeeeeeks.

P&PINO

Takes the responsibility of teaching Penelope about her West Coast heritage VERY seriously.

HOWCANYOUEVENSTANDIT

I give him credit for at least 35% of how adorable this family is.

And all her old noses… had grown back!

As one of the most average people on the entire planet, I’m not naturally very good at anything in particular (I’m not giving you the special nod, nor, if you’ll recall, have I even demonstrated the nod for you, so I assure you, this is still not that time). I’m not saying that there’s nothing that I’m good at at all. I’m just saying that I didn’t come into this world loaded up with natural talents. I’m not a singer or a dancer or a musician of any kind. I took all kinds of lessons and classes in all kinds of things growing up, and I could certainly be taught, to an extent, but there was always a point where the teaching of the basics ended and skill and desire to improve had to pick up and take it from there and, yeah… no. I was a fairly well rounded high school student who then settled happily into the nice and flat college student and adult you know from a sort of distance today.

No, but seriously, I wasn’t good at any of those things, especially since I was forced to continue to engage in them long past the time when my interest for them ran out and I still can’t really figure out the parental motivation behind that. I can definitely see sticking with dance or a sport or whatever through a season or a year that had already started, but to be signed up again and again to the point that I was showing up for classes dressed in jeans and apathy? And for my entire high school career, my electives were filled with music and language, which is fine, for college and all, but my school offered a ridiculous amount of other more interesting electives, which caused me to double up my schedule as a senior for absolutely no reason other than FUNSIES (it didn’t end well), and on top of that, I was terrible at my selected instrument and I took five years of Russian. Ask me how much conversational Russian I’m speaking these days. This is where I’d say “none” in Russian, except I don’t know how. (Telling me how in the comments won’t go over well. I do know how. That’s not the POINT.)

The point is, not everyone is born good at things, or even one thing, or just gets good at whatever they end up doing, but that doesn’t doom you to a life of not being good at anything, ever. There was that lady on YouTube, that one who decided she wanted to learn how to dance, except she couldn’t dance? (Oh, casual dancing, that’s another thing I can’t do. Well, I can. I can totally dance. I dance party around my house at LEAST once a weekday. Minimum. So it’s not a matter of not being able to dance. It’s a matter of, if some other people were to observe me doing it, would they also call what I was doing dancing? MAKES YOU THINK. Hope you wore your waders because I am getting DEEP.)

Anyway, she couldn’t dance at all, but she wanted to be a person who knew how to dance. So she decided to just learn. And she videoed herself over the course of a year as she taught herself a dance routine, and at the end of the time, she did the whole routine, and there she was. Dancing. She wanted to learn to do it, so she learned, and then she could do it.

 

When Phil and I first moved in together, I couldn’t cook. I mean, at all. I never really thought of myself as a person who didn’t know how to cook, because I’d always been pretty reasonably successful in following a recipe, but baking some cakes, making scrambled eggs, and Kraft mac & cheese a bunch of times while you’re in college is not the same thing as being faced with cooking entire meals for two people the majority of the evenings every single week. And when faced with that, hey, guess what, no. No, I could not do that. Like, at all. The first night I cooked dinner for us when we moved in together, through a weird set of circumstances, we had my sister’s boyfriend visiting from Pennsylvania for a job interview, and I made baked ziti and frozen garlic bread and it was good, and I think Phil got his hopes up, or at least, kept his hopes where they were. But I soon slapped his hopes ALL AROUND.

Holy crap. I tried. I tried so hard. I don’t know why it was so hard. I don’t know why I didn’t know how to do things I kind of just assumed I would know how to do. I didn’t know how to bake potatoes. I didn’t know how to make rice without my rice maker (WHICH GOT UNPACKED WITH HASTE). I didn’t know how to make any eggs other than scrambled. At least every second or third meal I cooked went straight into the trash. We ate take out and fast food and frozen meals a lot to SAVE money because of how much food I ruined. But I could make baked ziti, so I would. And then I’d try three other things, and one would be okay, one would be edible-ish, and one would go in the trash. And then I’d make baked ziti again, and Phil would make burgers. And I’d try another round of new recipes. And soon I had two things I could cook – baked ziti and fried rice. We ate those a lot between things I tried and the things that were less successful didn’t go into the trash as much as they got eaten and then we said, “maybe we don’t have that one ever again.” And then I learned how to make Deeleeshoos Noodles! And over the course of years – YEARS – because Phil and I have lived together since March of 2009, I’ve gotten to where I have maybe 8 or so TOTAL recipes that I know I can make for absolute sure. There are other things I can do okay, or I am still fussing with. And over that time, there are more types of recipes and foods that I’m willing to throw into the meal plan and give a shot. And it’s been a while since an entire dinner went right into the trash.

Well, last week, all the fish went into the trash, but that’s because I forgot it was defrosting. I forget a lot of things lately. It’s not my fault.

In 2009, I could definitely not cook. I am not saying I developed a deep love for and interest in cooking, so I decided to learn how, but I did have a need to learn how to cook, so I just kept cooking and cooking and cooking and I guess I kind of know how now. I’m not very good at it. (It’s still not that time.) I make a few things that, as a family (that’s Phil and I, Penelope only eats carbs), we really enjoy. I feel like Penny is probably going to grow up having a few weirdo favorites that “mom made” or “the way mom made” that won’t really match with the way the rest of the world eats things (you know, well) that will be a kind of comfort food sort of thing, or requested recipe, maybe, not because it’s any good objectively, but because we eat it often and it’s just the way I make it. I don’t think that eight things is an especially large rotation of recipes, but it’s not my whole rotation. Every grocery shopping trip, I usually plan 7 – 9 dinners. At least 2 or 3 will be totally new and Phil will be WELL WARNED that any potential failure is on the recipe. A couple more might be ones we’ve only tried once or twice. Others we’ve had a few times or are Phil requests. Even those we’ve had a bunch of times are not immune to my standard kitchen “… whoops. EVERYTHING’S FINE!”

This is the key to my best cooking that took me about two years to figure out: NEVER tell Phil what went wrong. When I tell him, he can taste it, and dinner is ruined. If I don’t tell him what I did wrong, or what I think I did wrong, or what might taste off, or what steps from the recipe I changed, he never has any idea.

Even though I’ve been working on this for a long time, and even though I have come very far and the starting line is barely a dot waaaaay back there, I look at the dinners some of my friends post regularly – just weeknight dinners – and I’m just, whoa. Whoa. So beyond me. But I’m not discouraged or anything. For one, we’re all just feeding our families some food. For two, I’ve been working on my cooking skills and plodding along and making notable improvement over time, so if I want it to, there’s no reason that can’t continue. If I want to cook dinners as nice as the ones I see online, then I can keep working at my own skills. Someone being naturally talented or, for whatever reason or through whatever method, already talented, doesn’t crowd out my ability to develop a similar skill set if I’d like to dedicate the time to doing so. Unless it’s for, maybe, singing or something. I don’t think I could dedicate enough time, ever.

THE POINT OF THIS IS, I’m not very good at doing makeup, but I want to be. I don’t feel like this is a singing/dancing/instrument skill, but more of a that lady who taught herself to dance/teaching yourself to cook/I didn’t write a third example skill. So I do my makeup a lot. Sometimes if I’m just going to the bathroom, I stop at the mirror to do my eyebrows, even if I’m not wearing any other makeup and not going anywhere that day. I read a lot of makeup blogs. I look up video tutorials on specific products I have or specific looks/skills I want to work on. I wear a full face of makeup to Target.

Sometimes I practice eyebrows after I take my sleeping medicine but before I fall asleep and hope I remember to wash my face before I pass out, so as not to surprise myself into an sudden pants-pee in the morning if I don’t happen to remember how angry and eyebrow-vengeful I got trying to make them match the night before.

eyebrows

Eyebrow? Why one so good, one so sad, eyebrow?

Just like with cooking, I’m getting better. I really am. It’s noticeable to me and sometimes people have even mentioned my makeup to me, which obviously makes me happy, just like compliments on anything else someone had put so much time into would. Don’t compliment me on that sentence, I didn’t put any time into it, and it would mean nothing to me.

I don’t mean this whole screed as a long setup about how makeup is for everyone, and how even if you feel intimidated by it, you too can can become a total pro. Take it from Boldbrow McHalfsies up there. No, I am not saying that at all. Not that it’s not true, I don’t know what you’re capable of doing if you set your mind to it. Honestly, it keeps me up at night and I don’t want to think about it any more.

No, actually, it was all about this.

Before I got in bed tonight (I’m typing this in bed, post-sleeping pills, pre-sleep, standard eyebrows), I washed my face, removing all my makeup from the day, and walked into the playroom where Phil had his back to me, playing a video game.

I said, “I can always tell these days when I feel like my makeup is on point, because not only am I in a better mood in general, but after I wash my face, I look in the mirror and I’m like, ‘Waaauuugghghhh!'”

He nods distractedly with his back still to me.

“No, Buddy*, look at me.”

So he turns around, kind of impatiently, and he looks at me and involuntarily goes, “Waauughh!”**

*****

*We both call our husbands Buddy, so when we all hang out in person, it’s like “Buddy? Bud– oh, sorry. My Buddy?

Three sentences too far. Wait, no – four. Four.

I was at the mall today because I go to a Benefit Brow Bar every three weeks to get my eyebrows done. I’m not going to talk about that today because it was pointed out to me that maybe I should PACE MYSELF and I don’t actually know how to do that, so what I guess I’ll do is mention a bunch of things, not actually talk about them, and then maybe get around to talking about them on another day in November when I feel like I don’t have anything else to talk about. So, future me – not too far future me, but still in November 2013 me, so maybe next week me, or week after next me – you can talk about eyebrows, if you want to, if you’re in the mood for that. You probably won’t be. I don’t know. I don’t know you. We haven’t met yet. Hope you’re doing well.

After my MYSTERY EYEBROW APPOINTMENT that MAYBE you’ll hear about or MAYBE YOU WON’T, I was wandering around the mall on a mission for some full coverage foundation, because my eyebrow girl, who is fantastic, said “You look… tired.” Which I know is generally seen as an insulting thing to say. So maybe you’re feeling a little het up on my behalf right now. Which is really kind of you. But I did look kind of tired, or kind of something, at least, because I’m taking this medication – hey, there’s some more stuff for another day – and anyway, it’s been doing some things, and apparently, some of the things that it’s been doing have been being… been bong… been banged onto my face. I hope I’m not saying it in a vain way – well, I know I’m not saying it in a vain way, but I hope you understand it’s not meant to come across in a vain way – when I say that I’ve had relatively decent skin in my adult years (this has certainly not been the lifelong case at ALL). A blemish or two at certain times, but nothing else. Generally even skin tone, not dry, not oily.

Well, I’ve described all of this to you just so I could tell you NOT ANYMORE. It is all weird colored and shrunken and unappealing to me. All my of light, sheer coverage solutions do nothing. I even mixed together two of my favorite BB creams so that they could, in concert, do nothing. Now, note that I said it’s become unappealing to me. Meaning that I needed to fix it to make it more appealing to me. Just like I don’t walk out of my house and eye up the faces of other people, deciding that they need to do to make their faces more appealing to my tastes, neither do I do up my own face with the intent and purpose of making it more appealing to others. I operate at my best, and most confident, and most comfortable in general when my outward appearance is something that I am personally comfortable with. It has nothing to do with your appearance, and may actually even have little to do with my own appearance. I can wake up looking exactly the same two days in a row and one day be fine with it and one day prefer wearing some makeup.

I’m just saying, right now – me expressing dissatisfaction with my uneven skin tone says NOTHING AT ALL about how I feel about your skin tone. I do not think about your skin tone. I don’t eye up the quality of your skin. I don’t think about your skin when I talk to you. When you sit next to me, I will tell you if you have lipstick on your teeth, or I will tell you if I like your eye makeup, but I legitimately give no bother beyond that. None. I talk a lot about my hunt for the perfect eyebrow product on Twitter (IT’S GIMME BROW), but I’m not considering your eyebrows unless you ask me to specifically consider your eyebrows. Honestly and truly. I don’t.

bothers

Hint: It’s none.

And this is where I would assure you that actually, everyone is like this. Everyone is like me, and totally self-centered and self-absorbed, and really only cares about her own eyebrows and own skin tone and own makeup and dwells upon the face situations of others only when asked. Like how when fat people (I did use the word fat) want to go to the gym, but bring up the fact that they feel self-conscious – that they feel like they need to get in shape first, in order to feel less conspicuous or silly or noticed or silently mocked or otherwise OUT THERE at the gym. And someone jumps in to say that that’s ridiculous, everyone at the gym is there to work out, no one is looking at anyone else, everyone is there for the same reason and it’s serious business.

EXCEPT NO. That is a big lie. That is a huge lie. Probably most of you reading are like me, or want to tell yourself you’re like me, so you’re thinking, “No! No! Not a lie! A true! Opposite of a lie! A not lie!” But it only takes one person to ruin that, and that one person is Twitter. Twitter, telling you what they saw someone wearing at the gym. Or how long they had to wait for someone going HOW slow on the treadmill? Or? OR? In one notable case that still frustrates me to no end, because I did not unfollow the second it happened, and I SHOULD HAVE, and now I don’t remember who it was and search is failing me, someone posted an ACTUAL PHOTO of the person on the next treadmill, along with a comment on the person’s body.

thatsmessedup

So no. No, I can’t assure you that what I say about me carries over to other people. Because other people have clearly demonstrated that to be a huge lie, in some of the worst ways. I can tell you that how I feel about the way my skin looks and how it makes me feel on a given day has nothing to do with how I feel about your skin, and how your skin should make you feel. I can also say I think I should be allowed to feel ways about my skin without feeling at the same time that it transfers to how I feel about your skin automatically. I have to wear my body, and I don’t have to wear yours. Your body has no power to make me unhappy or uncomfortable, unless you press it all up on me without my express personal permission and let’s all just assume you don’t have that.

LISTEN. Here’s the thing. I just know I talk a lot about makeup. I know I talk about how I’d like my eyebrows to look better. Or today, how my skin has taken a turn I don’t like, and how I’d like to change that to make it more pleasant to me. And I want you to know that I don’t ever think about you that way. I don’t think about the makeup anyone does or doesn’t wear unless it’s brought up to me by that person. And I guess it would be nice if everyone was like that, but we know that’s not true, because people are taking pictures of other people at the gym. It’s messed up, and we can wish it wasn’t true, but it is. Just don’t care what those people think, right? Ha.

What’s hilarious is the fact that I went to Sephora and bought some full coverage foundation actually has NOTHING to do with this post.

WHILE I WAS WALKING TO SEPHORA TO BUY SOME FULL COVERAGE FOUNDATION FOR THE FIRST TIME IN MY LIFE – which I’ll tell you about another time, because at 1300 words in, I’m totally learning how to pace myself – I saw that Bath and Body Works was having a SALE! On SOAP! Hand soap! SHIT YES!

So after I bought the foundation I can’t tell you about because I’m clearly in danger of running out of words at some point soon, I went in to Bath and Body Works, and they had SO MANY SOAPS. All the new Christmas smells! Soaps littered all over the store! No sense of order! No organization! Soaps here! Soaps there! Soap! Soap!

Soap 5 for $15, ARE YOU KIDDING ME? I started grabbing soap with no plan. I’m stacked boob to chin with soap. But then I started thinking. Phil bought me a bunch of soap for Mother’s Day, and we had just run out. Well, not actually run out. The problem is, we have just one left, and it’s a scent I really like, but I cannot ABIDE by it in the kitchen. I can’t have strong, floral-smelling hands when I’m trying to eat or cook. Just can’t deal with it. I needed a STRATEGY. Half florals, half kitchen appropriate smells, then, right? But if I do THAT, then I’m basically making myself STEWARD OF THE SOAP. And except for all of the things I hate more, there’s nothing I hate more than being the one solely in charge of any specific chore.

Start over. I put all my soaps back. KITCHEN ONLY SMELLS. BRILLIANT. All the smells will have to be tested for kitcheniness and then ANYONE can replace ANY soap without my intervention needed, which is great, considering my husband is totally smeaf.

Now I’m EXTRA happy, sniffing away, grabbing soaps and grabbing soaps and pinballing from display to display, but then I realized, I had SIX. And also that the space between my boobs and my chin was positively soap-jammed. So I went to get a bag, and an employee watched me try to wrestle a bag free, get half a bag free, attempt to dump my treasures into the bag, and then helpfully asked, “Do you need a bag?” I DO! I DO NEED A BAG! ALL THIS SOAP!

And I was off again! Sniffing up one wall and down the other. Did you know they have these metal decorative things that your soap bottles can SIT IN? Like a shirt. For your soap. Anyway, I got all the Christmas time smells, then I got all the fresh smells, you know, like “Air” and “Tree Fart” and “Nature Yawned” and I was over five, but it was fine, because also? SEVEN FOR $20. BIG SOAP DAY.

GUESS what other section they have? KITCHEN SOAP. Oh hell yes. Got a bunch of those, too. And by this time, I’d forgotten my bag, so I had a Macy’s bag*, and a Sephora bag, and a Bath and Body Works in store shopping bag packed with soap, and then I was once again boobs to well-groomed brows with soap. So much soap, you guys.

I got in line to pay, because I was out of arms, and because I had sniffed every single sniffable thing, examined every single foaming hand soap in the store – every single one – and I had not only picked out any that were kitchen suitable, but also duplicates of my favorites that I worried might be limited edition. While I was waiting in line, an employee asked if I’d be paying with a card, and said that she could take me over at a small side counter. I followed her over and dumped out all my soaps. They took up the whole counter. I tried to count them, but she kept grabbing them, so I said that I thought they were in multiples of the sale, anyway. She said it didn’t matter, because after seven, they were all $2 and some change, anyway.

WHAT. THAT’S AWESOME.

Her: It’s awesome that you’re getting so much shopping done so early!

WE REALLY LIKE TO WASH OUR HANDS!

Her: …

THEY’RE ALL FOR ME!

Her: …

THEY’RE JUST FOR MY HOUSE!

Her: …

WE REALLY LOVE SOAP!

Her: …

original

Her: Receipt with you or in the bag?

BAG’S FINE THANKS BYYYEEEEEE.

Then I immediately called Phil. DUDE I BOUGHT SO MUCH SOAP!

Phil is participating in the Extra Life Marathon for Children’s Miracle Network, specifically playing for Phoenix Children’s Hospital, RIGHT NOW! Here’s a link to his page, but unfortunately, the Extra Life servers suffered a DDoS attack today, which is just mindblowing and sad, so you can’t actually get there as of right now. Regardless, thank you to EVERYONE who has supported Phil via donation, words of encouragement, or sharing his page via Facebook or Twitter and also to everyone who has been supporting our family during our I hate the word journey journey with Phoenix Children’s and Penelope’s health over the last two years. We’ll continue to support CMN and Phoenix Children’s via this fundraiser in the future, so please let us know if you’d like to get involved next year!

* I’d LOVE to let you know what happened to Penelope’s pajamas, but I’ve got to pace myself. 2200 words a day. Max.

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.