Tuesday, April 22, 2014

things I do because my mother wouldn't let me

I'm a rule follower. I always have been. I like rules, parameters, systems, and when people do what they're supposed to do. I don't always like or agree with a given rule...but even still, I abide by them. It would drive you crazy to ride in the car with me. I never go over the speed limit. Rule follower

Growing up, guess what? I was a rule follower! Obviously I disagreed with most of the rules my parents set up, but I very rarely sought to break them. I mastered the art of complying with my actions while SILENTLY REBELLING WITH MY BRAIN AND MY EYE ROLLS. I'm sure I was a delight to parent.

Now that I'm all grown, I understand and appreciate most of the rules my parents had. They were and are very reasonable people. They weren't on a power trip or arbitrarily strict. I still live by most of the rules that governed my life growing up: I don't run out in traffic, I don't climb into windowless vans with strange men offering candy, I wash my face before I go to bed, I don't smoke. 

But there are a few things I don't do. A few rules that got kicked to the curb once I left the nest. And I'm gonna be honest: I think that half of the joy I get from doing these things is just the knowledge that my mother wouldn't let me do it. But now I'm my OWN boss and I say yes. It's awesome. Sometimes being a grownup is the most kickass thing ever. So maybe deep in my heart there is a little seed of rebellion. Who knows.

The list is short, but here we go.

Things I Do Because My Mother Wouldn't Let Me:

1. Eat noodles with ranch dressing.

I know. I'm almost ashamed. But then again, I'm not, because it is SO FREAKING DELICIOUS. And my mother WOULDN'T LET ME. Was it because it's so grossly unhealthy? Because she spent so long heating up that Prego and she didn't want it to go to waste? Because the combination just disgusted her personally and therefore she didn't want to have to look at it on my plate? I may never know, but the fact is, every time I tried to eschew my marinara in favor of some Hidden Valley, I got shot down.

But now I'm my own boss. And while I am far too calorie-conscious to actually down a whole plate of noodles and ranch, I will admit that anytime I have a few leftover noodles, they're bound to rendezvous with a little ranch and be eaten up while I'm doing the dishes. And it is fabulous.

2. Walk around outside in my sock feet.

Exhibit A: last night
 Moms get in a frenzies about the lamest things. Walking around outside in socks has to be right up there at the top of the list. Yeah yeah yeah, I get that the Georgia red clay will NEVER EVER come out and they'll be permanently orange. The concrete will prick them up. They'll probably get a hole from a stick or something. And yet...sometimes a person just needs to walk around outside in their socks, okay?? Moms need to calm down. Now that I'm my own boss and I'm in charge of my own laundry and my own sock purchasing, I let myself walk around outside in my socks whenever the mood strikes (which is often). It's delightful. However, I don't judge my mom too harshly for this rule. I can see how it would be annoying to have to constantly replace the socks for three kids. I'd probably make a similar rule. But I definitely wouldn't abide by it myself. That's what being a grownup is all about!

3. Pop my gum.

I'm probably the most gifted gum popper you have ever encountered. Seriously. It's one of those things that 90% of you would never know about me since you don't know me in real life. The 10% that do know me are all nodding and wishing I would still abide by my mother's gum popping rules, which were plentiful. I'm pretty sure I learned the art of loud and obnoxious gum popping when I was still in diapers. I bet they thought it was cute at first. Ha! Joke's on you now. Anyway, my parents were always nagging me big time to stoooopppp popping your gummmmm!!!!!! whenever we were in the car, watching TV, or basically doing anything. I was allowed to pop my gum if I was alone in a soundproof room, which was not very often. Since I can't chew gum without popping it, this meant that I was doomed to spend most of my time gumless. I mean...what's even the point of life if you can't be chewing gum? Ugh. Anyway.

Either Matt is deaf or he's the kindest person on earth. I don't think he's ever complained about my gum popping. I pop it as loud as I want, whenever and wherever I want, AND IT IS AWESOME. I have my own office at work and that's my favorite part about that, too. No one complains or cramps my style. Freedom to pop. Bliss. 

Umm...I think this is the end of my list. Is that sad? 18 years of 'oppression' (so said the teenager) and now I glory in breaking three little rules? It is sad. Oh well. I'll just eat some noodles and ranch to cheer myself up while I dream up nonsensical rules to burden my own future children with! No cookies while you're wearing flip flops during Daylight Savings Time! I am definitely going to dominate parenthood.

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Monday, April 21, 2014

winning at Easter

We had an awesome Easter weekend in Augusta with my family! First and foremost, this happened late Friday night:

That's right. The sweet, sweet taste of victory. As though winning 2048 wasn't enough, I also managed to introduce my dad to the joys of the game and now he is a fellow mega-addict. The best part is that (most likely due to my 4 day game head start), I am way way way better at it than him and he was really frustrated at how easily I could rack up high scores. It was marvelous. I've never been better than my dad at a mathy thing, so I'll take a victory however I can get one.

Speaking of my dad...he has a new addiction (besides 2048). This one I fully support. I am not recommending any sort of treatment or intervention program.

You know how some people are storm chasers? (PS those people are crazy) Dad is kind of like that, only his storm is Blue Bell on sale. He told this two hour long story (this is clearly where I inherited my inability to tell a story in less than 29820190 words) about every single grocery store sale, what ice cream flavors they had, what his logic was behind the purchase, and...lots more ice cream and money-saving things...that ultimately culminated in ALL THIS being in their freezer. And actually there was more, but the rest were duplicate flavors and didn't make it to the pyramid. And PS- only two people live in their house. So...yeah.

So for the rest of the pictures and weekend, please insert a bowl of ice cream between every activity and event. I'm nothing if not committed to the scientific process of choosing the best ice cream flavor.

It was way unseasonably cold and rainy all weekend until about Sunday afternoon-- we actually ended up having a fire Saturday evening and night!! Felt more like Christmas than Easter!! But we still managed to have lots of fun. Mostly because my niece is the cutest and most fabulous thing ever.

She's eleven months old now and walking EVERYWHERE!! And she's huge. Not that that's terribly surprising, since she was over 10 pounds when she was born...but now she basically looks like she's in high school. But she's sweet and cute, too, so that's all that matters. Oh wait, no, it also matters that she seems to remember me and love me.

Unfortunately, she was not interested in or loving posing for pictures in her cute Easter dress. We took about a dozen, and she's either screaming or just not looking in all of them. But oh well. She's cute anyway.

My Easter ensemble wasn't anything to write home about. Stupid unexpectedly freezing weather meant I had to scrap the planned sundress and scrounge my suitcase for the warmest things I brought that wouldn't look ridiculous together. Blah. But no one cared about my outfit when I was holding Carley anyway, so it didn't matter.

Sunday afternoon warmed up nicely and we spent the day on my parents' back porch smoking turkey (umm...in a smoker. To eat. Not a pipe or something...), throwing balls for Lola, and watching the Beloved Niece do cute things and try to catch Lola.

It was a wonderful weekend and I was so happy to get to spend so much time with my brother, SIL, niece, and parents! Also, ice cream.

And in SUPER tragic news, it seems that my resistance is going to end and I am going to be forced into updating my phone operating system. I discovered that my FaceTime won't work anymore until I update, so...way to force my hand, Apple. Boo!! So I spent lots of time deleting stuff off my phone because I was about 4G short of the available space required to make the update. So that's going to happen soon. If I can't live near my sister, I at least require the ability to see her and my in utero niece/nephew via technology. So...so long, farewell, delightful old OS. Out with the old. 

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Thursday, April 17, 2014

playing games & being irrationally angry at the wind

I used to have a life. And like...hobbies. Interests. 

And now there's only this:
Game still in progress...obviously.
Good grief. It's a good thing I never tried drugs. I'm sure I would have been hopelessly addicted after the first hit. Luckily, my drug is a phone game that I make myself feel better by calling it a 'math game.' I mean, I do feel like there are some kind of life skills or lessons embedded inside this ridiculously addictive game. Umm...finding patterns and formulas? Can we make some kind of good self-help metaphor out of the way that it took me days to even get up to 10,000, but once I did, now I can get to 10,000 basically on auto-pilot and now my new goal (besides getting to 2048, of course) is 15,000 (oops, just got there!) 20,000?

Actually my best accomplishment so far has been convincing Matt to download and start playing the game with me. And by 'with me,' obviously I just mean 'near me,' since it's only a one-person game. But now I feel way less guilty for zoning out on my phone screen for hours on end because now he understands why! So...a big win for 2048 evangelism! 

Anyways. In between sliding numbered tiles around, I've managed to accomplish a few other things in the past few days.

For one, I made this pizza last night. And it was awesome.

 Yeah. That'd be about a pizza completely covered in asparagus and tomatoes. And it was delightful. And now it's all gone. Oops.

I had a visitor hop by the (interior) window in front of my office and scare me half to death yesterday afternoon.

Yeah. You have a huge creepy bunny hop pop up out of nowhere in front of your face and tell me you don't have a heart attack. But it was pretty hilarious. And then we spent a good while plotting tricks on other coworkers and spreading the joy of being scared to death. It was great.

I'm trying to focus on these fun experiences to detract from the abject tragedy that's occurred over the last two nights. The dreaded late season frost. I'mma punch a meteorologist, I tell ya.

Tuesday night found us gathering up every last sheet in the house and trying to tuck in all of our cold-sensitive veggies and flowers. I told them to be strong. To picture warm beaches and the bright sunshine. Just ignore the frigid air!! It'll be gone before you know it!

I should have warned them about the STUPID FREAKING WIND.

I mean, we weighted down the sides of the sheets with rocks, flower pots, and other random heavy things, but apparently we were no match for the Arctic winds. The wind laughed at our weak attempt to cover up the kale and tomato garden and then hatefully tossed the sheet to the side and MURDERED MY TOMATOES. Stupid hateful wind. Obviously the wind isn't trying to eat healthy this summer.

So this is what 6 of our tomato plants look like. One of them in that garden survived (because the sheet ended up landing on top of it). We had a few more in pots that we'd moved to the garage, so they're fine. But most of them are a loss. Boooooo. Oh well. We'll replant. 

The beautiful new dahlias we planted SATURDAY look a little scary...I'm hoping maybe it'll just be a loss of the current blooms but that maybe they'll rebloom? Same with lots of the other flowering plants-- even though they stayed covered and didn't actually get frost on them, the temperature was still low enough to shock them and make them look really sad. Ugh. We covered again last night, even though it didn't get quite as cold...I didn't have a chance to look at everything too closely this morning to see how they fared.

Even though I'm sad, I'm trying to keep a little perspective. I'm a hobby gardener at best. If my tomatoes don't grow this summer...well, oh well. I'll buy them at the store. There are tons of real farmers in our area and state that stand to lose their livelihood and income this year over a late frost like this. So...perspective.

Also, I finally got to 15,000 on 2048. So life isn't all bad. Perspective! 

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Tuesday, April 15, 2014

living the resistance

You probably think I'm pretty normal. Typical. As far as culture and lifestyle choices for the society I inhabit, I don't really stand out. I look, talk, shop, and dress like pretty much everyone else. 

But deep in my heart, I'm a rebel. Every day I live out my tiny, secret resistance. And nobody knows. Well, until now.

Behold: my one-woman cultural resistance against...against nothing. I don't even have a cause I'm carrying a banner for. These are just the things that have come to light in recent (or not-so-recent) days that apparently make me 'different' (I prefer to think of it as 'special') from most of the other folks in my peer group. Ha.

1. I haven't seen Frozen.

AND-- I've never even heard the song 'Let it Go.' I KNOW. Some of you are probably jealous, based on how much people complain on Facebook about being sick of that song. I don't know why anyone would be shocked that I haven't seen Frozen, really. I don't have kids. I don't babysit. We're firmly in camp DINK, even if not by choice, and camp DINK doesn't choose to spend $25 and a Saturday night being camped out in a movie theater full of crying three-year-olds who have to run past your legs to the potty every 12 seconds. To be honest, I have no problem with Frozen and have every intention of seeing it. I'm sure I'll love it, just like I love all the other Disney movies. It's just that people seem utterly shocked when they hear I haven't seen it yet. Really? Really. Okay then.

2. I haven't upgraded the operating system on my iPhone.

That's right, kiddos. Take a walk down memory lane. Look at those lovely old icons! The dull, non-cartoonish colors!! A few weeks ago, a coworker noticed my phone and practically weeped as she begged to scroll through my icons and folders, reminiscing about the good old days. Apparently my phone is some kind of museum now. Whatever. I mean, I didn't upgrade when the new OS first came out because I figured there'd be tons of bugs and it would be annoying. I wanted to wait a few weeks to get the kinks worked out. Now we're past the point of waiting...I'll probably just keep rocking this OS until I get a new phone (in like, a year). Why mess with a good thing? 

3. I haven't read Harry Potter.

Pretty much the only reason I'm still holding out on this one is to bother my friend Mollyanne. Ha. No one on earth cares about anything as much as Mollyanne cares that I haven't read Harry Potter. I wouldn't want to take that away from her. I'm not sure how I slipped through the cracks on this one, really. I have nothing against them. I'm 100% sure I'd love them, as they're right up my YA-loving alley. I think the main fear is that I know that once I start, it'll take a long time to get through all 7 of them (7? Right?) and in the meantime, think of all the other books I won't be able to read? Opportunity cost? I don't know. It doesn't make much sense, really. I need to do it. If I had them on Kindle, I'd be much more likely to make the commitment, because like...those books are really big, and if I have to get them in hardback from the library...ugh. Huge. Who wants to lug that around for weeks on end? Not me. Wah wah wah.

4. I've never played Candy Crush.

I know!!! What did I DOOOOO with my life all those months that everyone else on earth did NOTHING BUT PLAY CANDY CRUSH ALL THE TIME?? I don't know. Probably sit alone and catch up on some five-year-old cultural phenomenon I'd missed out on the first time around. I really have no regrets on this one. How could I regret not having wasted dozens of hours on a phone game? Exactly. I don't plan to catch up on this one, either. 

I would feel a lot more high and mighty about this particular one except that last night I downloaded 2048. So...now I'm like one for two on Super Addictive Phone Games, I guess. Oh well. For the record, 2048 is awesome and I feel like it's a more intelligent game than CC, so I give myself props for that. I mean, there're numbers. Math? Right? Right. Also, although I've played quite a few rounds of 2048 by now, I'm still not entirely sure I understand what I'm doing. That's bad, right? Like, I get it? But then...sometimes the blocks all do something I didn't expect, which makes me think...maybe I don't actually get it. Oh well. I'll keep trying anyway. What's a good score? I have no basis for comparison here, so I'm not sure if I'm even doing good or not. Help me out, other sell-out people!

5. I do not and WILL NOT 'put a bird on it.'

SERIOUSLY, people of America. STOP ALREADY WITH THE CUTESY BIRDS ON EVERYTHING. This particular resistance is becoming increasingly hard to maintain, since I don't happen to make all of my own clothing, accessories, and home decor. But maybe I should. Or maybe I'll have to start looking at vintage stores to find a tshirt that doesn't have a damn 'adorable' owl on it somewhere. Good GRIEF! Staying strong on this issue was particularly vexing when we were trying to get the nursery ready in the fall. HOLY COW. Finding a non-bird-emblazoned baby item was next to impossible. It's gross. I can't wait for everyone else to move on past this sick obsession with gross, germy, hateful, disgusting air rodents.

 In fact, I think that I'll just go hole up in a cave with a stack of Harry Potter books, a Frozen DVD, and 2048...yall let me know when the world has gotten over birds and moved on to the next big thing that I'll probably miss out on. Thanks! 

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