This just in . . .

I have an excuse to post. Christy posted this meme and I couldn’t resist making her make me something:

The first five people to respond to this post will get something made by me. It will be about or tailored to those five lucky “victims.”

This offer does have some restrictions and limitations:
– I make no guarantees that you will like what I make!
– what I create will be just for you.
– it’ll be done this year
– you have no clue what it’s going to be. It may be fresh bread or a damn it doll- I reserve the right to do something extremely strange.

The catch? Oh, the catch is that you have to put this on your site as well, if you expect me to do something for you!

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Creating a Change of Value

The holidays are such a crapshoot. Sometimes I’m really in the mood to sprinkle around town spreading merriment and taking in the joy and other years, I am completely slumped, ready to snap at any moment.

I’m experiencing the latter this year, but who isn’t? The economy, the weather, blah blah blah . . . But there’s something else that is rubbing me the wrong way this year and I’m feeling a bit blue about it.

B and I have had a fantastic year of fortunes. We were married! Hey, I’ve always wanted to do that with the right person. Check. We went on a fabulous honeymoon resplendent with great moments in such a unique part of the world. Check. We got a new dining room table. Check.

But I’m missing something. Dude, I need to strap on a pair.

Remember the Mighty List? I made this one in June:

1. See Alhambra
2. Scuba without hyperventilating
3. Make homemade jam
4. Drink a mint julep at the Kentucky Derby
5. Have a baby
6. Sing in a gospel choir
7. Grow vegetables and peonies
8. Write my family members and friends really meaningful letters
9. Learn how to sail
10. Run a 5-K
11. Teach my kids to swim
12. Learn the Tango
13. Play 10 Christmas carols on the piano and have a swinging holiday party
14. Open a pie shop
15. Pay off my credit cards
16. Learn how to play and score tennis
17. See all 50 states
18. Hold my drink
19. Chew yerba mate while hiking Machu Picchu
20. La Tomatina in Valencia wearing white.
21. Ride in a hot air balloon.
22. Skinny dip.
23. Wear a wig and dark sunglasses and red lipstick while sipping scotch on the rocks.
24. Chop off my hair.
25. Build a fire from scratch.
26. Go deep sea fishing.
27. Moguls.
28. Finish The Quincunx.
29. Throw a bonafide tea party.
30. Foxtrot.
31. ifly.
32. Retake my passport photo.
33. Visit the catacombs of Paris.
34. Erase this site. (I kind of quit it, but didn’t erase it).
35. Ice luge.
36. Move to the ocean and buy a Wagoneer.
37. Live in New Orleans.
38. Paint the table aqua when everyone says it should be black.

I did four of the things on my list (of only 38 things—I’m so unmotivated that I haven’t come up with another 62). But I think I wrote the list knowing that there was a pretty good chance that I would do at least one of those things (though the deep sea fishing was a complete surprise!). That’s a hell of a lazy way to approach a life list. I need to get serious about taking care of some things for me this year.

For a long time now, I’ve been considering going back to school to get my teaching certificate. I wanted to take the easy way out and finish with a concentration in history. I majored in history, so it made sense to teach secondary with a focus on social studies. Something kept holding me back from making an appointment to talk to anyone about it: I hate teenagers. Hate them.

After much consideration, I’ve finally discovered that I love, love, love small children who are eager to learn and start the day. I, with my sailor mouth, want to teach elementary school children how to read and write and do easy math problems. And I’m terrified to try it. I’m so scared to step up to the plate and do something about being unhappy with myself. I love my husband, but getting married didn’t do it for me; taking a trip of a lifetime didn’t do it for me. I suppose the only thing left is for me to do is to really do something for me.

Have any of you reached out of your comfort zone to take control of your life lately? If so, I’d love to hear your stories. I need a boost.

Life list for 2009:
Go back to school.
Get my left K-9 crown replaced
Get over myself

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Inappropriate Office Gift Guide

Office holiday parties can be uncomfortable for some of us. In my early twenties, I drank four glasses of Irish whiskey and sang Santa Baby ala Marilyn Monroe pointedly seducing the guy from IT. Last year I drank a bottle of wine and ended up wearing my sunglasses and a fake mustache while bar hopping with coworkers until I nearly threw up on my shoes. B was so pleased when “the new guy” dropped me off at home in the early morning hours. This year, I’m going to make everyone happy.

For all of those times that my boss told me to put on a push up bra and sell, for all of those pornographic emails sent my way by my male coworkers, I’m going to give them what they really want this year:

For the bald guy who keeps sending you those Obama emails that play The Jefferson’s theme song:

Good Old Boy Artwork

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A not exactly safe for work nude painting of our favorite vice presidential candidate: $25 at Old Town Ale House

Who needs a coffee warmer? Save your USB port:

USB Pole Dancer

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$25.99 at Stupid.com

For the person who uses the restroom nearest to your desk every day at 2:00 pm. A not-so-subtle hint:

Poo~Pourri

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Starting at $9.00 at Poo Pourri

Lastly, for the white guy who makes $20,000 a year, drives a Jaguar and listens to rap full blast every day after 3:30:

Pimp my Cube

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$11.23 at Amazon

Happy Holidays coworkers! And thank you, boss, for that coupon for $2.00 off my next Honey Baked Ham sandwich. God bless us everyone!

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Repeat the Sounding Joy

Once when I was twenty, my mother bought us all tickets to a Christmas orchestra show. We had a nice dinner and dressed in black and I wore red lipstick. When we got to the Fox, I was standing in my thrift store cashmere and mink coat. After looking up in awe at the beautiful theater, I finally realized that the people surrounding me were drinking beer out of plastic cups and wearing Slayer t-shirts.

We all sat stiffly in our balcony seats through two and a half hours of the Transiberian Orchestra while others were hooting and hollering. When the crowd cheered for an encore, my sister and I looked uncomfortably at each other, acknowledging how badly we wanted the concert to end.

Afterward, we went out for a night cap. No one said a word about the show, but we politely thanked my Mom for the tickets. Minutes passed in silence. Then we all started laughing at once. We had no idea we were going to see a Heavy Metal Christmas concert. Mom even laughed. It was great.

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#%*@!! You

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Last week I cut my finger with a knife on four separate occasions. The sheets were still wet when I got them out of the dryer right before bedtime. I got a flat tire and had to pay for a new windshield after the tiniest bit of rock hit it. B forgot to pick up the dry cleaning. I forgot to pick up the turkey. I scheduled too many things at once and gave myself a paper cut. Twice. My dog jumped on top of my sleeping body with his huge pit bull head and sharp monstrous feet. I twisted my ankle down the stairs. I lost to B in Scrabble after he cheated me out of the word qua (can anyone use that damn word in a sentence?!). I burned the cinnamon chips for a Mexican dessert. And B still cannot load the dishwasher like a decent human being.

B is making me start a swear jar. At $.25 a pop, that paragraph alone is worth $3.00. And that’s just the half of it. Oops. I just realized that I used damn in the last paragraph. Oh damn it again. $3.75.

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Turkish Delight

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Everyone from my mother to random internet bloggers warned us about going to Turkey for our honeymoon. It seems that in the midst of Kurdish bombings and headscarf upheavals, our friends and family didn’t think it would be an ideal honeymoon destination for two blue-eyed Americans. Advice ranged from, “Tell everyone you’re Canadian!” to “Bring your own toilet paper—those people are savages!” After making a few deals with ourselves and a little gamble with the state department website, we decidedly pushed on and found ourselves on a plane to Istanbul a few weeks ago.

I’ve done a terrible job about blogging in real time lately, but I’ve really been having a hard time wrapping my mind around our honeymoon adventure. Most couples find themselves on a beach sipping daiquiris after tying the knot, which is romantic in its own right, but what we found so incredibly amorous about traveling to Turkey, was that we had to rely on each other to make it a successful trip.

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Our companionship allowed us to get lost traveling hidden streets and work our way through menus by trading dishes when one of us accidentally ordered sheep intestines. It was a great way to begin a partnership and it will be trip that will remain one of the most intense and beautiful journeys I have ever taken.

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Similarly to most European cities, Istanbul has no shortage of English speaking service people. We stayed in old town Istanbul where we blended in fine with other tourists taking in the sites and there was not one moment where we weren’t greeted with a “yes, please!” by eager carpet salesmen and vendors. The people were the most generous and passionate individuals I have ever encountered.

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I was even able to cross something off of my life list. It will be hard to beat a sunrise from a hot air balloon over Cappadocia.

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Not such a bad trip for two blue eyed Americans—until we went to the Turkish bath. While B enjoyed a semi-emasculating setting, similar to what he might find in the local Y, I had a much different experience.

Not once on our entire trip was I asked if I was an American, until that morning in the bath. Internet, I wouldn’t be ugly as homemade sin unless I revealed something nitty gritty: I have pubic hair. And the topless lady with a mustache at the hammam tried to take it. As I timidly flipped over to face my bather, she immediately noticed something was awry. “Ah! American! American!” she shouted, loud enough to attract the attention of everyone in steam room. “I just whish whish. Whoosh whoosh!” she proclaimed as she gestured a ripping movement towards my crotch region repeatedly for 15 minutes.

“I am Canadian!” I shouted back—and successfully avoided a Brazilian wax.

Clearly, there are no photographs from that particular day. But it remains our only Turkish experience that I wouldn’t repeat.

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Hitched

Before our recent wedding, several brides and anti-brides gave me sound advice for what to expect on our wedding day.
 
“It will be such a rush! Make sure you take in each moment.”
 
“Set aside some time for you and your groom. Just take deep breaths and remember why you’re there that day.”
 
“Take pictures before the wedding. You’ll have more fun and be more relaxed when you have to walk down the aisle.”
 
The self-help wedding sites are a lovely source of consumerism and half-ass advice, most of which I took in stride. I have no interest in topics like, “What happens at a gift wrapping party?” or “The Ultimate Flower Guide” or “It’s your mother-in-law or you. Who stays?” However, as I found on my own wedding day, there are two very important topics that every bride should consider:
 
1) Your wedding day is like the day you lose your virginity. For some chaste brides, these days are one in the same, so allow me to kill two birds. Never ever will it happen like it does in the movies. It will be over too quickly. It will end in a sweaty mess with both of you likely craving a cigarette.
 
2) Be prepared with a stock pile of Kaopectate. Go ahead and take it at 6:00 am. Otherwise, you’ll be apologizing to your sister for the rest of the day, promising her that you will hold her hand when she gives birth because she had to hold your dress over your head while you, well, you know. . .

In all seriousness, the wedding was great. We had the chance to visit with long-lost friends and family as well as a few wedding crashers. And married life? Well, it is settling in the most wonderful way. We’ve spent the past two weeks on the couch pondering the rules of backgammon and I can’t think of another person with whom I would rather ponder such things.

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