January 28, 2010

No, really, you deserve it.

There are so many instances in daily life that call for a great, big, sarcastic Thank You. It amazes me how many complete strangers know exactly which buttons of mine to press to instantly make me irate. I can be grinning from ear to ear, singing along to Fleetwood Mac one minute and then beating the hell out of the steering wheel and chucking the finger out of the car window the next. 

So, I have decided that from time to time in this here blog I will post my 'thank-yous' to all of the wonderful people out there who have made my life miserable, for even just one tiny second. I haven't forgotten you, and to prove it here is your personal thank you.

Let's start with my darling neighbors...

Dearest Neighbors, 

I would like to thank you:

For never offering to help me carry extremely heavy and awkward boxes no matter how hard I am struggling. I realize that it isn't your heavy box so that automatically makes you exempt from lending a hand.

For spending ten minutes snow-blowing your own driveway while watching me shovel mine for three hours and not even make a dent. I know it would be excruciating for you to walk over and spend ten more minutes helping me so it's best that I finish it on my own and spend the next three days in extreme discomfort. 

For detailing your car constantly while blasting your favorite music with all four doors and trunk open on any day that doesn't happen to be raining. It's wonderful that you take so much pride in keeping your car clean. I really appreciate the way it shines as you drive by at 3 a.m. with T-Pain blaring. I think you've nailed the appropriate amount of speakers and sub-woofers. Great job! In fact, the entire cul-de-sac would like to thank you in person very soon. 

For not keeping your domestic disputes private. I really am flattered that you think of us as that close of friends. Each time I hear you swearing and shouting at your children and man friends it really warms my heart to think that you don't keep any secrets from me. I don't think I will ever be able to return that favor but maybe someday I can make it up to you with a quick 9-1-1 call or something. 

And lastly, for never looking in my direction when we are both outside. I didn't really want you to wave or smile back at me, I was just doing it out of habit. My mistake. I know that to reciprocate would have taken up too much of your time and God knows how precious that is. It's best that we make off that we are all invisible. 


Sheri L.

the bump and the ditches...

Anyone who sleeps next to someone in their warm, comfy bed will understand this.

We buy a mattress. For months, we sleep soundly on this new, unworn, marshmallowy haven. No backaches in the morning. No tossing and turning for hours before finally curling up in the fetal position and snoozing for eighty-five seconds at a time. Heavenly, feathery bliss. Until that one day when you awake to find that slight pain has returned in your lower back. As you're making the bed you can see that the 'ditches' have now appeared. A ditch for you and a ditch for your bed-sharer. And what lies in the middle of these two ditches? The bump. The highly coveted bump. We all want that bump to be our new spot. We try to roll over as close to it as possible, hitting elbows and sliding the 'other''s pillow out of the way a bit. It feels as if this bump was just transported as a flawless, new addition to our otherwise unloved mattress. As soon as the 'other' gets out of bed we roll, with haste, over to this heavily desired area where we sleep as though on a cloud, for hours, uninterrupted. We dream of a mattress made up of just bumps, forever. Uncrushable.

Ahhh the bump.

When we are lucky enough to find comfort in our ditch, our positions are limited, still, thanks to the addition of a 70lb dog.

January 26, 2010

save your bread and shred instead ...

From what I have noticed over the past couple of years, a lot of people are choosing to stay IN rather than go out every weekend. The economy is mostly to blame for this ... record-breaking unemployment rates, sky-high rent and mortgage payments, rising interest rates and the price of nearly everything climbing to an unacceptable level. We simply cannot afford to enjoy a night at the local pub shelling out $50 - $150 for a few hours of laughs and a change of atmosphere. So, what's the alternative?

I will admit, I love to hang at the local bars as much as the next guy but when it isn't in the budget, it isn't in the damn budget. My husband and I have drastically cut our nights out over the past year. When I suddenly became unemployed we had to figure out where we could save, what we could cancel and how to get the most out of every last cent. One of the things we started to do was to invite people to our house more often, rather than always saying NO when asked to join them in a night out. We found that a lot of our friends were more than happy to spend their Friday night in our living room. Makes sense. Who wouldn't want to purchase a 12-pack for $15 rather than spend $50 at the bar? We have always had the options of playing cards or board-games, we have a pool table, hundreds of movies and a damn fine music library on the ipod. Sometimes we would have a fire in the backyard and sometimes we would just sit out on the deck enjoying the weather and the company. No matter what we did we always had a great time because we have phenomenal friends. But with the addition of music video games, such as Rock Band and Guitar Hero, our nights IN have really become something to envy.

Gregg started playing- with just the guitar- a couple of years ago. I didn't think I would like it but I got right into it and we ended up buying a second guitar. We played for months without boredom. Eventually Gregg bought the drums and the microphone and that is when our living room careers took off. It is always awesome when you have two other people willing to play so that you can complete a four person band. It just takes that one UN-shy friend to rock the mic like a champ and your night is off in a fabulous direction. Gregg is usually the drummer and has come a long way. I prefer guitar but will sometimes play bass. I am getting a little bored on medium but haven't quite gotten the hang of the hard level. We recently bought Guitar Hero-Metallica and that is by far the most challenging of all the music video games we have played this far. But also, insanely fun to play.

What's great is that you can also play online with friends (or strangers) with the use of a router. We have done this several times as well. It gives us the feel that we're actually hanging out with our out-of-state friends which is awesome.

Last weekend we had a couple of good friends over and broke out into a spontaneous session which, of course, ended up being a really fun night. Thanks to the uninhibited vocals from miss Elisha and the savage guitar solos from one mr. Christian we rocked the curtains right off the wall. (Well, I wish we had - I hate those curtains).

So, don't go broke trying to enjoy your friends company. Just invite them over for a good ol' fashioned jam session. Order a pizza, drink a bunch of beers and shred your little hearts out.

January 20, 2010

it's part of my charm ...

I think it is safe to say that we all have a little "crazy" in us. Sometimes our crazy manifests itself in frightening and obvious ways and sometimes our crazy wears a little mustache and sunglasses and sneaks around so nobody will notice it. I have various forms of unimportant craziness. There is no cause for alarm ... the slight insanity is made up of tiny fragments of simple O.C.D.  and large chunks of my being super organized and somewhat of a neat freak. Bottom line: I like for things to be neat and clean and I don't like messes to sit for very long.

Here are a few examples of my Danny Tanner brain...

We have a toilet paper holder in the bathroom that holds 3 rolls. If that holder doesn't have at LEAST 3 rolls in it at all times I am not satisfied. I understand that without the holder you would have just the one roll on the actual wall and possible extras in a closet or under the vanity. I further understand that having the holder is a backup and the point is to fill it when you utilize the last of the 3 rolls. I just don't like it looking half-assed. Gotta fill it up. Crazy.

In our dining room we have 3 light switches controlling one light. One is on the outside wall and the others are close to the hallway and kitchen. Obviously one is always going to be down when the light is on and vice-versa. I will only tolerate the "wrong" switch being the one on the outside wall. I have no idea why. If the others are incorrect I make sure to rectify it immediately. Crazy.

If I am writing a list of things that I need at the store and I have to cross something out I will just tear it up and write out a new list. Even though I am the only person on this planet that will look at this list it is too messy. I hate cross outs. Crazy.

Every year I use a Hello Kitty engagement calendar to keep track of bills, birthdays, appointments, plans and parties etc. I started using post-it notes that I cut to fit the size of my calendar squares so as not to make a mess by writing something that is a temporary but not definite plan. Craaaaaazy.

These are just a few random oddities. It doesn't go much deeper than that. Just neatness really. Yet, I don't see the need to dust my house every few days or scrub the floors and windows. So it isn't as though I am a complete clean freak ... I think I just do not accept messiness. Or things looking out of place

And there you have it.

January 19, 2010

... things that i have come to notice ...

1. It is always better to get something off your chest... even if it is only a crumb from delicious veggie pizza.

2. Winona Ryder sure can make smoking a cigarette seem like an elegantly awesome idea. 

3. It seems like they will never actually figure out exactly what happened to Titanic the night it met its demise.

4. If you're drunk on red wine and singing 80's music into a ladle chances are you're cheering someone up and pissing someone off.

5. If you accept a piece of furniture into your home from a friend - the room that you place it in isn't going to smell the same way for quite some time.

6. The unemployment office could stand to hire a few hundred souls.

7. You don't really need that paper tray that comes with your printer. So don't be upset when you break it off of every printer that you should ever stumble upon.

8. The word "dreamboat" is hilarious and yet had such a short life span. I'm going to work on that resurrection.

9. I hit the pillow and my mind races for at least one hour. Gregg hits his pillow and is asleep within 5 minutes. Maybe I should secretly switch pillows.

10. The people living in this cul-de-sac either have no smile muscles or simply hate me.

11. Benny's should have a "women will hate this place" sign on the door. They all just feel haunted to me.

12. If I was in the movie "Alive" let's face it ... Nando would have set me on fire.

13. Superstitions and urban legends just make things interesting. Who cares if they are ridiculous... I want to make some up so I can become part of the old wives tale-telling business. 

14. Michael Myers' scariness is based on how awesome his mask looks in each film. For instance, I could be playing hopscotch with him in 4 & 5 but would bury myself alive to hide from him in the original or Zombie's version.

15. Crunch & Munch seems to always be on sale for $1.00 lately. Did someone screw up at the factory in November??

16. Kat Von D's book was pretty great. She really is as cool as you think she is... only a thousand times more rad.

17. There aren't nearly enough pirate ships being manufactured these days. Why is that? If I was a billionaire I would have one rather than a yacht.

January 6, 2010

maybe my pillow is a jerk ...

According to a study of dreams by Dr. Laurel Clark and Paul Blosser ...
"Nightmares occur when the subconscious mind tries repeatedly to relate a dream message but the message is ignored. This might occur when you don’t recall dreams often or when you give little attention to your dreams at all. A nightmare is when the subconscious mind “yells” at you to get your attention to shock you into remembering the dream. By learning to interpret your dream messages, you can understand what your subconscious mind wants to convey. When you apply the message to your life and make the necessary changes, you change, and as a result, your dreams change. You experience fewer nightmares. As you increase in Self awareness you find that you rarely, if ever, will have nightmares because your conscious awareness is aligned with the Truth contained within your subconscious mind."

Well, apparently I need to start paying closer attention. 

Lately, I have been plagued with very realistic dreams that are not quite to my satisfaction. I would love to dream about becoming a billionaire and going mansion shopping. Or have a quick flash of my wonderful future with our beautiful children and a white picket fence. Or just walking a dirt road, alongside an endless farm, barefoot, in the sun- possibly eating an ice cream cone. Somehow I never seem to have these odd, pleasant dreams. Quite the opposite actually ...

So, about a week ago I dreamed that I was in a van with 3 of my best friends driving in Narragansett. There was a wicked storm on the coast and the waves were insane, there was pounding rain and wind - just crazy. Long story short - we end up driving off a cliff and plummeting into the sea. I kept taking deep breaths and holding them, knowing that any second the windows would shatter and we would be suffocating as the ocean poured in. We sunk to the bottom at first, all screaming and panicking, and then, as quickly as we sunk - we floated to the surface. We broke the windows and swam to shore - in the midst of the horrifying storm. Upon reaching the shore, we found a restaurant right on the beach with people dining literally feet away from monster waves. As I walked past the patrons, dripping with seaweed like a swamp monster, I said, "Hey, enjoy the rest of those stuffed mushrooms". Not a fitting ending, right??? I am an oddball though, so I wouldn't put that past me. Anyway, I have recurring dreams of plunging into the ocean or lake in a vehicle. Usually by driving off a cliff, but sometimes a bridge which is even scarier because the fall seems to be longer which heightens the anxiety dramatically. That second when you hit the water - well, I can't even explain the feeling of terror, so never mind.

Two nights ago I had some rather fierce nightmares starring Michael Myers, who was chasing me around the winding commissary of a restaurant. I was hiding in walk-in freezers, the basement, boxes, box trucks etc. I finally exited the building and ran through the local neighborhood - ducking behind fences and even did a little breaking and entering. I woke up at 3:15 on the dot (which is all very Amityville Horror) with my heart racing, hands shaking and the vivid dream just way too fresh in my mind. I forced myself to stay awake for a while... walking around the house with my flashlight. This is quite normal for me, I assure you. I have endured these dreams for a good ten years or so. Typically I am being chased through neighborhoods. I beg the homeowners to let me hide in their house and from an attic window I can see this madman rounding the corner and coming for me. Once, I managed to cut his arm off at the elbow - using his own knife - after I broke the arm in a heavy, parking garage door. I am pretty resourceful.

But last night, Mr. Sandman managed to cram several of my true fears into one little sleep session. Let's discuss...

It all started in a little, white trash bar - that hopefully doesn't exist - surrounded by thick woods. I was uncomfortably seated inside with my lager and some friends. I only knew three or four people in the establishment. Quickly a brawl broke out between some roughneck, flannel-clad hillbilly and a "motorcycle guy". I inched my way toward the door only to find that it was, of course, locked from the outside. For some reason we were all locked in this dive with a brutal beating as our entertainment. I HATE fights. I hate seeing them on television, hearing about them from friends and most of all, witnessing them in person. Just hearing a man furiously yell makes me feel like a frightened 4 yr old searching for a corner to rock back and forth in. So there we are, desperately fleeing the punches, flying objects, squirting blood and possible airborne teeth. I was scared to death.

The dream shifted and now took place, again, while driving with friends in Narragansett. The sky quickly became black as night. The wind picked up, intensely. The other cars on the road started to eerily disappear. We became frightened as we continued on the stretch of road by the ocean. I saw the first tornado. And the second and third. The other girls each found other tornadoes to focus on. In a matter of seconds, we were faced with roughly 15 tornadoes. Some, over the ocean, some coming straight for us and the others surrounding the car. We were whipped around in every direction. We flew through the air. I can remember the absolutely terrifying sound of the winds, the screams coming out of my own mouth and the mouths of my friends, and the realization that we were going to die. The last thing I remember about this portion of the dream was being outside of the car and knocked around the highways like a human pinball.

The next sequence picked up in a small, farm house in South County. I was sitting at a counter in a dining room/kitchen. This was a gathering of the most RANDOM of my friends. Some, I haven't seen in years, some are friends of friends, and most have never met each other. I sat on a wooden stool, sipping Miller High Life. Everyone was scattered around. One girl was even seated in the bathtub. A few of the boys walked in with a curious looking box. We all walked over to check it out. It was literally crawling with every imaginable creepy insect  known to man. I flipped right out. I ran into the other room as I heard the box being dumped onto the floor. From the corner of my eye I could see the crawlies sprinting throughout the rooms. I was now sitting on the counter, legs bent, knees tucked under my chin and for some reason I was blocking my ears hahaha. I saw my friend, Higbee,'s buddy walking towards me clutching a handful of dangling horror. He placed several MILLIPEDES across my shins - which were bare, due to the bermuda shorts I was wearing. I screamed at the top of my lungs, jumped off of the counter and grabbed towels to wipe my legs over and over, even though the insects had moved on to the wall almost instantly. I was trembling and crying and absolutely hysterical. The bug-placer repeatedly apologized and rubbed my shins as if to erase all traces. I woke up gasping for air.

In other words, the "dream-maker" succeeded in combining my fear of dangerous beatings, inescapable tornadoes and unacceptable, multi-legged insects all into one appallingly macabre dream. What is WITH my subconscious mind??? What are you trying to tell me?? Or what am I trying to tell myself, I should say. I have several books on dreams and often do a bit of research on them. I don't really know what is believable or true but it all seems to be very interesting if nothing else.