Friday, October 21, 2011


Lately, I've spent lots of commuting time lost in memories of my childhood. I recently discovered a new route to work, which eliminates lots of waiting in traffic, and takes me past two houses that I lived in while growing up.

My childhood memories are mostly of the not good variety. My parents divorced early, and lots of my memories involve moving around to new houses/new schools, various dramatic and emotional parental/custody disputes, stress about money/clothes/food, etc. Look, I wasn't burned with cigarettes or starved in a basement as a punishment, so I had it pretty good when compared to some of the crap that you hear about today. But it wasn't the best way to grow up, and I'm certain that my childhood has majorly influenced my decision to not ever have kids.

There are absolutely good memories. Some just smacked me out of the blue this morning, for no apparent reason. Growing up, my mom would late me stay up late, long past my bedtime on a school night for two reasons: to watch either The Sound of Music or The Wizard of Oz when they came on network TV. This was before the time of VCRs, and before cable, so this was really special. To this day, I love those movies. I can also remember the Christmas that I was seven, living in the one house that I drive past, the last year that I believed in Santa, waking up in the middle of the night, sneaking down the steps, and seeing our tree lit up, with piles of presents beneath it, and just getting this awesome, magical feeling that Santa had REALLY come! The memory of that feeling can still give me goose pimples.

Sometimes, I have to remind myself that my childhood was not all bad. Lots of times, I really wished that I could be sent to a boarding school, which I now understand was my way of wishing to not be involved in all of the drama, to escape, to pretend to be someone else. (This was long before my adolescent "rebellious" phase, when I think every kid just wants to get the hell out of their parents' home, and be able to live their own life. When I left for college, I never moved back.)

I am happy with the person that I have become. I know that the struggles of my childhood made me who I am. Sometimes, though, I wonder who I might have been, if I had the "perfect" life...

Wednesday, October 12, 2011



I got braces when I was 14, at the start of ninth grade. I was very excited about this, because I thought it meant that I was a "real" teenager. (I also got glasses the same year, and purposely picked out frames that were like Andrea's on 90210...true story. Obviously, I spent too much time reading Sweet Valley High and watching television as a pre-teen.)

So, braces. I wore these braces for almost the entire four years of high school. Thanks to my lovely overbite (which never got corrected, thank you very much Mr. Asshole Orthodontist), my front tooth, already missing a small chip on the backside due to an unfortunate altercation with a chair at the age of 12, bit down on the braces on my bottom teeth and an unsightly chip appeared in its bottom edge.

By my senior year, I had had enough of these braces. I was already at least a year past the "you'll only need them for two years" point. I begged my mom to get them off of me. She relented, and had to sign a waiver at the orthodontist in order for them to be removed. I'm sure she promised not to sue the asshole doctor (once again, thanks for nothing, jerk, my teeth looked the same when the braces came off). As he removed my braces, and tsked, he filed down the chipped tooth "to even it out", and ever since, that tooth has appeared snaggly. I hate it. It's my number one detested facial flaw (next to my forehead chicken pox scars that you probably barely notice, but that look like moon craters to me, since I had to live through the embarrassing agony of having them since I was 10).

So, if you take my picture from beneath me (as in the above shot, taken by the 5 year old nephew), or from certain angles, you can see the resulting snaggly tooth. And it horrifies me. I actually have lots of nightmares about my teeth, falling out, me pulling them out, etc. I need to get over this.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Yard Work and Stuff

Today, there are 17 bags of leaves waiting to be picked up by my township from my curb. On Saturday, I had to borrow my oldest nephew to help me rake the leafy detritus into baggable piles, or else I would still be working on it. We worked for six hours, stopping only to cram lunch into our craws. The best part is that my maple tree is only half done its annual shed.

On Sunday, I spent a rare, lovely afternoon with CPM in Chestnut Hill at the Fall Arts Festival. Sometimes, the weather around here cooperates, and we experience something new that makes us remember that occasionally life isn't so bad on the east coast (notice I said "sometimes"). We saw lots of cute puppies (new obsession, Italian Mastiffs, gentle giants, who seem to hate cats) and performed our favorite activity...people watching. We ended the day at Farmicia, dining with a good friend (I tasted a piece of boneless lamb chop. I'm sorry, but it was the greatest thing I have ever eaten.), and talked about learning Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. (I could never hit someone, even just pretending/sparring, so it was just fantasy talk.)

Yesterday, I had my sister's youngest children for the day. We visited Linvilla Orchards with friends, intending to get some pumpkins and pick some apples. Note to not visit Linvilla Orchards ever again on a school holiday. You know that scene in Toy Story 3, where the younger kids are set loose on the toys in the day care, and all hell breaks loose? It was like that, except with overflowing trash cans, smelly animal pens, and the dregs of Delaware County, PA, crowding every inch of free space. We wanted to pick apples, but the apples were all picked out by 3:00 (just checked the website, and the orchard is giving itself a week to recover from the crowds). The ride home was tense...the youngest kid passed out, and the older kid accused me of always giving in to the five year old (I refused to hike back down to the hayride area when our apple picking plans feel through, shuddering at the thought of dealing with the crowds, and I also nixed face painting because the line was too long). I had to remind her that she was once five years old too, and people usually cave in to the younger kids, whose coping mechanisms often involve lots of public shrieking. Also, the youngest is prone to migraines, and he said that he had a headache, so I was sympathetic. I had one too.

We did however, get pumpkins.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011


My day yesterday, in list format:

-Drove past a guy without a nose on my morning commute. Instead of a nose, he had a band aid where his nose should have been. Creepy.

-As part of my job, I photograph all new hires in my building on their first day. One of them wasn't wearing underpants yesterday. How do I know? Because when I escorted her back to the lobby, her bare ass was hanging out of her pants. Classy.

All that got me through the remaining portion of my day was the thought of the lovely meal I was planning to prepare...spaghetti squash and pesto, broccoli rabe and roasted red peppers, veggie sausage. It's a pretty time consuming preparation process for a work night, so of course I needed every minute available to me upon my return from work...thus it is no surprise that the following occurred:

-I stepped in dog poop in my yard during afternoon playtime with the dogs. While I normally follow Bones around with a bag, due to his tendency to poop on the run, his father is not so fastidious. Thus, there are sometimes little surprises in portions of the yard. (I actually keep track...did Bones poop twice in my presence today? No? Then I need to do a yard recon and find the second poop. That's fun.)

-When I took my shoe into the house to clean it in the basement sink, I saw that Rocky, the cat, had once again decided to hang his ass OUTSIDE of his litter box and shit on the basement floor. His litter box is kept in pristine condition, cleaned daily, and had just been completely redone with fresh litter the day prior. I guess he didn't want to mess up the fresh litter.

Hence, I was drinking a pumpkin beer while I cooked. All was well.

Monday, October 3, 2011


Surprise. It's fall. But, it's not the good fall, where the weather is crisp, the sun is shining, and you momentarily delight in breaking out the hooded sweatshirts and cozy pants. No, it's the crap fall, where the temperature cuts you down to the bone and it's damp and raining, and everything smells like wet dog in your house. I did nothing this weekend. N-O-T-H-I-N-G. Except for (pet and human) food shopping. Upon my return from the food stores, I immediately put my pajamas back on and went back to bed. Yup, it was that kind of weekend.

Honestly, I argued with myself yesterday over whether I should even bother to clean the bathroom. (The bathroom won, it got cleaned.) I did however do this thing I've been meaning to do for a while. I picked up the knitting again.

Why, yes, they are DPNs!

I'm teaching myself to knit socks. I'm using this book and various Youtube videos.

So far, it's working. Here is the cuff.

I can see some careless mistakes, but overall, I think I like to knit little things like socks. I don't have to park myself in one spot for ages before I see progress.