Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Are you going to dip it in yogurt? Cover it with chocolate buttons??

The holidays can be really stressful on a marriage. You're spending a bunch of money, trying to juggle time to spend with extended families, etc. Plus one of you is always doing more than the other. One person does the majority of the shopping and wrapping and baking and preparing, am I right? All of this added stress can be really difficult on an otherwise happy marriage, don't you agree?

Uberman and I have the same argument every year. And this year I am just not sure we are going to work it out. So I need your help in resolving this. Seriously. I want your opinions. Because I know you all will agree with me that he is flat out dead wrong.

In the movie Love Actually, Alan Rickman's character Harry is married to Karen, played by Emma Thompson, but he has this flirtatious relationship with his skanky assistant Mia, which Karen witnessed at the office Christmas party. A few days later, after a provocative conversation with Mia, Harry ends up buying the skank a necklace for Christmas, which Karen finds in a pocket as she is hanging up his coat and excitedly assumes it is for her. Are you following me so far?

(I guess I should warn you that if you have never seen the movie there are some spoilers ahead. And also, I am not sure we can be friends anymore.)

So on Christmas Eve, the family gathers around the tree to open one gift each, and Karen chooses a small square present from Harry that is the same size as the box she found in his pocket. She is devastated when the gift turns out to be a Joni Mitchell CD and not the necklace. She excuses herself to her bedroom and has a little cry as she tries to decide whether or not to confront her husband about her suspicions he is having an affair. The whole scene is very sad.

Now here is where I need your help. Do you think Karen had the right to be sad and devastated that she did not receive the necklace? Or do you think she was jumping to conclusions about her husband's infidelity? Uberman argues that A) the purchase of a necklace is not confirmation of an affair (even though later we see skanky slut face Mia climbing out of her bed in bra and panties and wearing the necklace) and B) how does she know the necklace is not still wrapped under the tree waiting for her?

I know. Can you even believe his nerve?? He could not be more wrong. We KNOW Harry gave Mia the necklace because we see the skanky slutty mcwhore wearing it. And we KNOW he didn't buy two and there isn't one under the tree for Karen. But he argues that we know that because we are the omnipresent viewer. Karen does not know. She is just making assumptions. Which I argue are correct. But he says she is just being a big baby. And I say she is trusting her intuition, as she should. Because as women, we always know.

I know, right?? The guy has some balls. I mean he is just sooooo wrong here it completely infuriates me. And the only reason he won't accept the fact that Harry is a cheating dirtbag (which HELLO! He is!! We see it later!!), is because he is hoping some day to meet Alan Rickman and have him record his greeting on his voicemail. Maybe his chances are greater if he stands in solidarity with Alan that his character is being unfairly accused. Whatever.

Regardless, this is causing a major rift in our marriage. We may need to seek counselling.

So what do you think? Without the knowledge of whom the necklace was intended for, did Karen have the right to be upset? Is Harry a jerkface liar? Is Mia a nasty disease ridden trampy whore husband stealer? And more importantly, is Uberman just straight up WRONG??

You are welcome to comment as anonymous. Unless you disagree with me and then you better straight up give me your name address and phone number so I can come egg your front door and key your car.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

A few things you might not know...

If I were 20 years younger I would have my nose pierced. I'd get one of those teeny tiny studs you can barely see. Just because I think it looks cool. And I would have bright blue or hot pink streaks in my hair.

Even though I am still working on losing some chub, I like my body a whole lot more now than I did when I was in my twenties. And I'm a lot more comfortable in my own skin.

I ate three cookies today.

I used to color my hair red. It was hideous.

I love artichokes.

I think the Buffalo Chicken Pizza at Mellow Mushroom is a gift straight from God.

I like to turn the radio off in my car when I am all alone and ride in silence.

My ten year old taught me how to use my iPod Touch. Before that I had no idea how to turn the stupid thing off and couldn't figure out why my battery kept dying so soon.

I don't like to drink coffee during a meal. Coffee is a stand alone beverage.

I don't talk about my dad as much as I do my mom, but he is my hero. I would not be who I am today if it were not for him. He is an amazing man and if you don't know him you are missing out.

I love cooking but my picky family takes the fun out of it.

I love office supplies but I am the most unorganized person in the world.

My desk at home is such a mess, you can't see the top of it. My desk at work is so immaculate it looks like no one sits there.

I need a new work schedule. I go to work in the dark and I come home in the dark. I didn't sign up to be a vampire.

I'm still watching Grey's Anatomy.

I'm going to Disneyland in January and I can hardly wait.

I want a puppy but Uberman says no way Jose.

Major shit hit the fan for us this week and surprisingly I am not worried. I know everything will work out and that some things are just meant to be. I trust my husband.

Friday, December 3, 2010

The Secret about Victoria

Will any of you be uncomfortable if I talk about underwear for a minute? No? Okay good. I didn't think so since we are BFF and all.

So I like to buy my bras at Victoria's Secret. I know, they are expensive. But honestly, they make the girls look good. You know what I'm sayin'? And I need the girls to look good. Because they are sad and depressed and not looking anyone in the eye these days. So my friend Victoria helps them keep their, um, spirits . . . up. Or something like that.

Anyways. My only issue with Vickie and her secrets, is that I am pretty sure she discriminates against the big girls. And when I say girls I don't mean boobs this time. I mean actual girls. Ladies. Women. Women who may not be the size of Heidi Klum and all her cronies, but still want to feel sexy in their chonies. I personally have always loved to wear cutesie bras and panties because I can't wear everything I want.

So the other day Ubes and I were out shopping for our monkeys and I went into Victoria's Secret to check out the goods for my goods. I found a bra that I wanted and noticed they were having a buy one get one half off sale. I turned to find a sales associate to ask which bras were part of the sale, but I couldn't get one to look my way and I felt it was inappropriate to scream across the store "Hey! Is this bra included in the sale or what?"

I expressed my frustration to Ubes. "See, this store pisses me off every time I come in here. I always have a hard time finding someone willing to help me."

"Why?" Ubes asked.

"Honestly? I think because I'm not Victoria's Secret model material."

"What?" He was skeptical.

"I really don't think this store is "Big Girl" friendly. Look at the sizes they have on display. They are all the small sizes. The bigger sizes are in the drawers below." I pointed to the drawer to emphasize my point. "And they only go up to a size 38. Don't you think someone bigger than a 38 wants to wear sexy bras?"

I forget Ubes doesn't know what a 38 is. But seriously, just because a woman is not a 34B or a 36C, it doesn't mean she doesn't want or deserve to feel pretty. Right? And I think it's funny that I have such a hard time finding my size, which I am not embarrassed to tell you is a 38C (I've been measured, dude, I know it's accurate), because obviously a whole lot of 38C's are beating me to the drawers and buying up all the "Big Girl" bras.

But whatever.

And I think as I stood there waiting and looking for someone to help me, Uberman still thought maybe I was being a little too sensitive... Until....

A very nice sales associate finally approached me and asked if I needed some assistance. She was like me, older and single digit size challenged. I pictured her to be a happy mother of teenage boys with a dog and a husband who likes to go camping. I don't know why. These are the things that go through my mind in split seconds, people. I realize I may need medication, but the imagination is what keeps life exciting.

Anyhoots. (Ha! Get it?? Hoots?!?!? I crack myself up!) Nice Sales Lady tried to help me find an amazing black and white lace bra that was out of stock (bummer) and then helped me to a dressing room with my other choices. As I stood in the dressing room trying on bras, every girl's favorite weekend activity, I overheard another associate talking to Nice Sales Lady.

"Shawna, are you helping the woman in this dressing room?" she asked. I could see her black boots below my door and I knew I was the only one in a dressing room at the time.

"Yes," said Shawna.

"Oh good," said the other associate. "Because you probably understand more about her . . . um . . . sizes and stuff."

Excuse me?

I am sorry but what is there to understand about my size? Being a 38C does not qualify me as some kind of special needs. It's not like I have three boobs instead of two, right? I mean when did being a 38C mean you were an elephant?

Seriously, I don't want to jump up on my soap box and champion the rights of the plus size folk everywhere, but give me a break!

And I hate that term "plus size." What does that even mean? Plus what? A bigger ass?

I'm just saying that I am sick of being looked down on or excluded or whatever because my body isn't smaller. I'm not lazy. I'm not unhealthy and anyone would be envious of my amazingly low cholesterol level. My size just so happens to be in the double digits. Sue me.

But here's an interesting fact: I like me. I think I am pretty much awesome. And I think most people who take the time to look past my droopy 38C's enjoy having me as a friend. Yeah I wish I were thinner. I wish my thighs weren't so jiggly and I felt more comfortable in a sleeveless top. And I'm working on it. But I'm working on it for me. Not because I am worried about what anyone thinks. Despite my lack of perfections, I am happy with the person I see in the mirror. Because she is nice. She is funny and charming and compassionate and full of life.

And her husband thinks she is pretty sexy with or without the help of Victoria and her secrets.

So take that Vickie. I for one will be finding a new place to buy my undergarments. And you just lost a Facebook friend. Hurts, doesn't it?

Thursday, December 2, 2010

My European Adventure - Part IV: Brussels

So after the Great Train Ticket Debacle, we arrived in Brussels around 4:00 in the late afternoon.
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In the months before our trip, Uberman and I watched a million travel shows on Brussels. It looked so quaint and charming. The cobblestone streets, the old buildings, the store fronts selling waffles and chocolates. And the beer! We could not wait to try the beer. It was like we went to Berlin and Amsterdam for the history and culture, but we went to Brussels to eat and drink. I mean really, what else is there to do there?
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But Brussels is like the Washington DC of Europe. The European Union is there, as well as NATO. So I was expecting this fancy, cosmopolitan city full of nothing but interesting business people and rich tourists.
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Sometimes I can be so stupid.
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The moment we stepped out of the train station, I realized how naive I was. There were a lot of young guys standing around, between the ages of maybe 15 and 19, watching people as they left the train station to find buses or taxis or whatever. I immediately felt uncomfortable and Kenny and Ubes started reminding me and Dee to make sure our backpacks were closed. Although it was only a little after 4:00, it was already getting dark and we wondered how long we would have to stand there waiting for our bus.
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A bus approached, but it was going the opposite direction from where we needed to go. And just as it stopped, one of the kids near the station entrance ran up to a woman standing behind us, grabbed the necklace off of her neck and ran across the street to get on that bus.
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We stood there in shock. The woman calmly pulled out her cell phone and began making a call. No one did anything to help her. No one ran after the boy. No one even stopped to ask if she was okay. And being American tourists with our arms full of luggage, we felt powerless and vulnerable. I felt sick. But honestly, that's all part of travelling. It's just so shocking when it happens right in front of you.
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One hour and an interesting bus ride later, we had checked into our hotel and were back out looking for a place to eat. We ended up in a cozy little corner restaurant near the Grand Place.



After a dinner of mussels, frites and Kriek beer, we walked around the little streets surrounding the Grand Place and then had drinks at the Delirium Cafe (below), before going back to the hotel.
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The next morning went back to the Grand Place for a tour of the brewers guild museum.





Then we did some shopping, and a whole lot more eating and drinking.
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It was amazing. Despite our initial introduction to the city, Brussels was lovely. The people were so friendly and so eager to talk to us. Although they speak both French and Flemmish, everyone spoke English as well. We never really had any communication issues. I would do a few things differently next time, like not lose the train tickets, stay in a hotel closer to the Grand Place and skip the frites with mayonnaise (although the frites were devine, the mayo on top was totally gross and not worth the extra calories).

I only wish we had more time to spend eating in this beautiful city.



The Grand Place was definitely my favorite. I loved how it looked completely different during the day and at night.
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And of course, I loved everyone's favorite attraction in Brussels, Mannekin Pis.


I would love to go back to Brussels. And I will. Because those waffles were AMAZING.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

My European Adventure - Part III: The Train Ticket Story

So who wants to hear the train ticket story?? Some of you have had the absolute pleasure of hearing me tell this story in person, so please feel free to skip this post if you want. But this story is so awesome, I am betting most of you will sit through it again....

Are we ready? Nice and comfy?

Okay, so you know how we took the train from Berlin to Amsterdam? Well we also planned to take the train from Amsterdam to Brussels 3 days later. As soon as we got off the train in Amsterdam, Dee and I booked it to the ticket counter to purchase the tickets to Brussels. We were at a smaller train station, the Amsterdam Zuid, so the ticket counter was just a little booth with two men inside. Dee and I entered in a whirlwind tizzy, dragging our suitcases behind us.

We explained to the attendant that we needed four tickets to Brussels for Thursday. Ubes and I had purchased the tickets to Amsterdam for all four of us, so Dee was going to pay for the tickets to Brussels. Except she had a limited amount of cash and the guy behind the counter said we could not pay with a credit card. The tickets were 160 Euro, so Dee and I split it and agreed to work out the details later.

I watched Ticket Guy put two pieces of paper in a red envelope and slide it across the counter to me. I grabbed the envelope and walked out, leaving Dee at the counter waiting for her tickets. I handed the red envelope to Ubes, asking him to put it in my backpack so I wouldn't lose them.

Fast forward three days.... We got up early Thursday morning. We planned to check out of the hotel, grab a quick breakfast and head to the train station to catch the next train to Brussels. According to Ticket Guy, a train left every hour. So before we went down to the lobby to check out, I went through my checklist: Passport, wallet, iPod, camera . . . train tickets.

I pulled the red envelope out of my backpack for the first time since I purchased the tickets. I opened the envelope and pulled out the two pieces of paper.

Wait a minute.

What is this?

These do not look like train tickets. They look like a photocopy of . . . something that sort of looks like a train ticket. All of the train tickets I have ever had before looked like boarding passes for an airplane. The same size, color, etc. This looked nothing like the train tickets I was used to.

Hmmmmm....

I opened the envelope again. Empty.

I opened my Kipling backpack and peered into it. I started pulling out everything. Magazines, brochures of museums, my travel wallet, camera case, my jewelry pouch, the clear cosmetic bag I used for chapstick, tylenol, hand sanitizer and gum, my book. I opened up all the magazines and shook them out, then did the same for the museum brochures, I sorted through receipts, scrap papers, napkins, etc. I went through my wallet, too.

Nothing. No train tickets.

I went through my suitcase, pulled everything out and sorted through our travel books and all the documents we brought with us with all of our flight and hotel info. Nothing.

I asked Uberman if he had opened the envelope and he said no. He had put it in my backpack and that was the last he had seen it. I sat on the floor of our hotel room thinking. I started feeling sick to my stomach. I had never opened the red envelope. It had been sitting in my backpack in the room since we arrived. I walked three doors down the hall to Kenny and Dee's room and knocked on the door.

Dee answered quickly. "We are almost ready," she said. "We'll meet you in the lobby."

"Is this what your train tickets look like?" I asked her and showed her the pieces of paper I had.

"I haven't looked at them," she said. "I have to find my envelope. I honestly thought you had all of them."

"No," I told her. "I only got mine. I thought he gave you yours separately in another envelope."

"I don't remember," she said. "I'm sure I have them. I'll dig them out and show them to you in the lobby."

I walked back to our room. Something wasn't right. I could feel it.

Ubes and I went down to the lobby, where I proceeded to argue with the girl at the front desk about a 30 Euro telephone charge we did not make. Finally she agreed to remove the charge from our bill, and I had the great big giant coconut balls to pull out the red envelope and ask "Can I ask you a question? Do these look like train tickets to you??"

Front Desk girl looked at the photo copies and immediately made a face.

"No," she said, her Dutch accent was faint. "Those are not tickets. They are photocopy of receipts for reservation."

Shit.

Dee came into the lobby with a panicked look on her face. "I don't have a red envelope, April," she told me. "I looked everywhere. I don't think he gave me one." We had been teasing Dee the entire trip about her George Costanza wallet. It was stuffed so fat with papers and receipts. We had watched her go through it a million times trying to find her public transport tickets that she thought she had lost every time we were getting on a subway or bus. I rolled my eyes at her thinking to myself "Oh my God this girl loses EVERYTHING!"

I looked back at Front Desk girl. "What do you think we should do? We purchased tickets, I don't think he gave them to us."

"Do you have your credit card receipt?" she asked.

"No," I said. "He said we had to pay cash."

She immediately made a face that made my heart fall into my stomach.

"That's very odd," she told me. "I don't understand why you had to pay cash."

"Great," Dee said. "He screwed us!"

"No," I said. I was getting irritated. "Let's stay positive. We'll figure this out. We have to."

Front Desk girl spent about ten minutes trying to make phone calls for us, but couldn't get any answers. Finally she advised us to go to Centraal Station, the main station in Amsterdam and plead our case to the Euro Rail people.

"We didn't purchase the tickets at Centraal Station," Deanna told her. "We purchased them at Zuid."

"Centraal is bigger," Front Desk girl said. "You might have more luck getting help because there are more agents there."

"And if they can't help us?" I asked.

Front Desk girl looked at us and shook her head. "Then I am sorry. You might be fucked."

I looked at Dee with my eyes wide. "Did she just say . . ."

"Yes," Dee nodded. "She said we are fooooked."

Kenny and Ubes were sitting in the lobby shaking their heads. I could tell we were all on edge about his, all of us worrying we had been taken advantage of. Ubes and Dee both wanted to go back to Zuid because that's where we purchased the tickets, but I thought Front Desk girl might know what she was talking about and insisted we go to Centraal Station because it was bigger. So off we went, the four of us, again dragging our suitcases behind as we rushed off to catch a tram to Centraal Station.

Centraal Station is huge. Enormous. Busy and full of people. We were directed to the Euro Rail area and were still stunned to walk into a GINORMOUS waiting area where we were given a ticket and told to have a seat until our number was called. It was basically just like the DMV. Fifty million people waiting around for their number to pop up on TV screen. They were on number A34. Our ticket was C53. Awesome.

We sat for what seemed like forever, but was more like 45 minutes. Finally our number popped up and Dee and I rushed to the counter with our number flashing above it.

The woman at the counter stood in front of us, sipping a cup of coffee and looking totally uninterested as we showed her the red envelope and told her our story.

"Why did you pay cash?" she asked between gulps.

"He told us we had to," I told her. She rolled her eyes and waved her hand dismissively.

"Why didn't you check the envelope before you left the station?"

"I didn't know to do that, ma'am. I am sorry but we don't travel by train in America. We have never had this problem before. I saw him put these slips of paper in the envelope and I just trusted he did his job." I was doing my best to hold it together. To stay positive and to stay polite.

She rolled her eyes again and sighed heavily. "Wait here," she snapped. And walked off.

"She's not going to help us," Dee said. "I mean look at her. She doesn't care. She's more interested in her coffee."

We waited. And waited. And waited. Finally she came back.

"I'm sorry," she said. "You have to go back to Zuid."

Dee glared at me.

"Ma'am," I took a deep breath. "We have to go back to our husbands and tell them we have wasted our entire morning and now have to go back to Zuid. When they originally wanted to go to Zuid but we were told you could help us here because there were more ticket agents. Please promise this is going to end in our favor."

She smiled at me, finally showing a touch of empathy. "I'm sorry. But they sold you the tickets, they are the only people who can figure out what happened to them. I am not sure if they will be able to help you, but because you didn't buy the tickets here, there isn't anything else we can do for you. They are waiting, they know you are coming."

Ubes and Kenny were PISSED. And everyone was losing faith this situation was going to end without us shelling out more money for more tickets. We rode the Metro in silence to Zuid. I felt nervous and sick, but still wanted to believe we could work this out. When we arrived at the ticket counter, I was so excited to see Ticket Guy, the same ticket guy, already waiting for us.

"Hi!" I called to him. "You sold us tickets on Monday, to Brussels. Do you remember us?"

"Yes, of course," he said. He looked nervous. We explained the issue to him, that we did not have the tickets, that we didn't think he put them in the envelope. He went through his process for us.

"I print the tickets and then I staple them to the receipt. I fold them together and stick them in the envelope," he said.

"We don't have anything that looks like a ticket," Dee told him. "What does a ticket look like?"

He picked one up from his work station. It was a small gold colored card, about the size of a credit card, maybe a little bigger. I had never seen anything in all of my belongings that looked like that.

"We don't have them," I said, shaking my head. "And there are no staple marks in the receipt." He pulled a report to make sure he printed the tickets. The report indicated the tickets had been printed. He made some phone calls to see if loose tickets had been turned in anywhere.

"Can't you just reprint the tickets?" I asked.

"No," he said. "I am sorry. That is not a possibility." We were starting to get upset. Frustrated. Irritated. A supervisor came over to find out what all the fuss was about. He explained to her in Dutch that were stupid and were accusing him of swindling us. I don't know if that is what he really said, but I don't speak Dutch so I am just guessing.

She turned to us and made some snippy comment about them not being responsible if we lost the tickets. By this point I was pissed.

"We didn't lose the tickets," I glared at her. "You didn't give them to us."

Kenny jumped up and turned to Ticket Guy.

"Sir," he said in his nicest Reasonable Guy voice. "She has looked through all of her stuff. We don't have the tickets. We have spent the entire morning trying to deal with this. We had our hotel calling for us. We went to Centraal Station and waited there, they sent us back here. We would not be wasting your time and our time and our entire day if we had the tickets. Please. Is there anything you can do?"

Ticket Guy got on the phone again and started speaking Dutch. Dee, Kenny and I crowded at the counter watching him. Ubes sat in a chair with his head in his hands. The minutes ticked by. It was almost 1:00 in the afternoon. We had wasted our entire day dealing with this. Ticket Guy kept talking on the phone, waving his hands and looking frustrated.

"I don't think he is going to be able to help us," I said. "We are going to have to buy our tickets again. And now they are a lot more money."

"April, you checked your backpack, right?" Kenny asked.

"Yes!" I snapped at him. "I emptied the whole thing. I don't have them."

"Maybe you should check again," Kenny said.

"Ken! I checked it!" I was totally exasperated.

Kenny looked at me and said firmly, "Check it again. Please."

I rolled my eyes and stalked away, exhaling loudly. I threw my backpack on the chair next to Ubes and shot Kenny a dirty look as I opened it. I started pulling everything out. My wallet, camera, magazines, cosmetic bag. The only thing left at the bottom was my book, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Have you seen the paperback version of this book? It's yellow.

Almost goldish.

The color of train tickets.

And if there had not been a light, directly over my head, shining down into the depths of my black Kipling backpack . . . I never would have seen the light reflecting off the tiny corners of four gold train tickets sticking out of the book.

I stood. Frozen. Staring down into the backpack.

Briefly contemplating whether or not I should just throw everything back into the backpack and say "Nope. Don't have them."

But Ubes, sitting next to me, immediately reacted to my silence. He looked up at me, and he knew. He could see my face was completely white.

"Son of a bitch," he said quietly as he put his head back in his hands.

I reached into the backpack and pulled the tickets out of my book. I held them above my head and looked sheepishly over at Ken and Dee. Ken just turned around and wouldn't look at me. Dee looked like she was going to bust a gasket.

"Get over here!" she yelled through clenched teeth. In the 25 years I have known her, I have never seen her so angry. Kenny took a deep breath, banged his fist on the counter and said quietly, "Let's go."

He grabbed his suitcase and walked out of the ticket area, Dee and Ubes following him, me sulking behind them.

Ticket Guy followed us out the door breathing a huge sigh of relief.

"I am so happy you found them!" he said, wiping sweat from his brow. "I didn't know how to tell you you would have to buy new tickets." We all talked over each other, apologizing.

"I'm so, so very sorry," I told him, blinking back my tears. "I am so embarrassed. Really. Humiliated. They must have fallen out of the envelope and slipped into my book. I don't know. I am just really, really sorry."

"It's no problem," he laughed. "I am just so relieved. I felt so badly for you. Can I buy you a cup of coffee?"

We laughed, all of us in shock that he was being so kind to us after all of that. We politely declined his offer and asked him to direct us to the next train. Then we hauled ass to the boarding area.

I was devastated. Embarrassed. I wanted the floor to swallow me whole. I could not believe what I had just put everyone through. Especially after I INSISTED I did NOT have the tickets. We stood in silence, waiting to board the train as I contemplated throwing myself in front of it. We got on the train, and to my horror, discovered we were sitting in a foursome of seats with a table in the middle, two sets of seats facing each other. Awesome. No avoiding them. Super.

We sat down, taking off coats and scarves and digging out reading material and iPods. Ubes leaned back and closed his eyes, Dee started flipping through a magazine, and I stared out the window, feeling like a complete moron. I was exhausted and humiliated. I couldn't stop the tears from flowing down my cheeks. Kenny reached across the table and took my hands.

"Sweetie," he said. "Tell me the exact thing that went through your mind the moment you saw the tickets in your bag. Walk me through everything that you felt." He smiled his big smile at me, sticking his tongue out a little so I knew he was teasing me.

"It's too soon Kenny," I shook my head and sniffled. "I don't want to talk about it."

All three of them giggled a bit. Dee waved her hand absently at me as she flipped pages in her magazine. "Aw, it was no big deal," she said. "It could have happened to any of us."

Five minutes before, they wanted to kill me. And now it was funny and no big deal. But it wasn't funny to me.

It's hilarious now. But I was the only one not laughing then. But we are family. One minute we want to kill each other . . . and the next we are on a train to Belgium talking about waffles and beer and how lucky we are to be on such an adventure together.

But needless to say I'm not allowed to hold the train tickets anymore....

Friday, November 19, 2010

My European Adventure - Part II: Amsterdam

We arrived in Amsterdam Monday afternoon after a 6 hour train ride. I was completely overwhelmed by this city as soon as we left the train station. The traffic, the bicyclers, the amount of people.... It was a lot to take in all at once.

I guess I had just pictured quiet little canal streets like this:



And to be fair, there were plenty of those. But I wasn't prepared for how congested the city was. I mean as soon as you step off the train there are sights and sounds . . . and smells.... It can be overstimulating to an exhausted traveller.

Our hotel was located in Leidseplein, which is a busy and lively area. We got a little lost trying to find it at first, which is very easy to do, so wandering aimlessly, dragging my luggage behind, was not making me feel less anxious. But needless to say, we found the hotel, got checked in and immediately went back out to explore our new city.

We spent the afternoon and early evening wandering the streets, walking in and out of shops, and of course, trying to avoid death by bicycler. We ended the night with a stroll through the red light district. Which in all honesty, was no big deal. Just a bunch of slightly unattractive older women sitting in a window in their underwear looking bored and underwhelmed. I personally think most of them could use a Zig Ziglar course in effective sales techniques, but whatever.

The next day we visited the Anne Frank House, the Dutch Resistance Museum and the Jewish History Museum. I have wanted to see the Anne Frank House since I was 13 years old. Although it was a very moving experience being there, and reading everything her father Otto went through to open the Museum in her honor, I was a little disappointed in the bookstore. The store carried the Diary of Anne Frank in every possible language, as well as other versions of the story, including a comic book. Really? A comic book? I don't know. It just felt icky.



My favorite by far was the Jewish History Museum. I loved every single thing about this amazing place. It walked you through a history of the religion and explained the persecution these people have gone through for thousands of years. I am so fascinated by other cultures and religions, so this museum really spoke to me. But Uberman said we could not convert because of that teeny tiny detail about believing Jesus is the son of God. Bummer.


Regardless, I think everyone should live by the words above. Your life should have meaning. Make each moment count. And do your part to make the world a better place. These words stuck with me. Our last day in Amsterdam was spent touring the Heineken Museum and walking along the canals.


And looking at all of the bicycles...

And admiring the architecture...
When we first arrived, I think I judged Amserdam too harshly. I was so overwhelmed, I allowed the chaos to cloud my view of this city. But it was beautiful. My favorite part was walking along the canals at night. I loved how peaceful and elegant this crazy, bustling town became.


I am sad we missed out on the amazing art museums this city had to offer. But we'll go back... Some day....

Thursday, November 18, 2010

My Eurpoean Adventure - Part I: Berlin

When I was a little girl, I used to dream of seeing the world. I would sit on the floor of my room paging through a world atlas, looking at all the countries I wanted to visit. I spent hours reading about the history and different cultures. I made lists. Lists upon lists upon lists of cities and sights. Of foods that I would try. Of souvenirs I would buy. I could hardly stand it.
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My great aunt Rosie was a fortune teller. She used to read our palms when we were little. We would sit around her feet, my cousins and I, and hold our palms out to her and beg her to tell us about our futures. I'll never forget her holding my hand in her hers, tracing a line in my palm with her long red fingernail. She would look at me and smile as she squeezed my hand in hers.
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"You are going to travel the world, my girl," she said. "You are going to have many adventures. And you will marry a man who loves you with his whole heart."
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Now that I am a grown up, I am not sure if she was just telling me what she thought I needed to hear, or what she really believed to be true. But her words have stayed with me for my entire life. And I think about her every time I am standing in front of one of the many sights I couldn't wait to see.
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A few weeks ago, the man who loves me with his whole heart took me on an exciting adventure to Berlin, Amsterdam and Brussels.
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The funny thing is, never in a million years did I ever want to go to Berlin. I thought it was like the Detroit of Europe. And I mean no offense to anyone from the greater Detroit area. I just mean that I always envisioned it to be depressing. Growing up during the time when communism was the overwhelming threat of the world, the images we saw of Berlin were the wall, armed soldiers and sad people. It just looked so grey and industrial.
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Needless to say, Berlin surprised me. In the absolute best of ways.
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Does this look depressing, grey and industrial? No. I think not.
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We arrived on a Friday morning and stayed until Monday. We spent three nights at Pension Peters. The hotel was amazing. It was more like a bed and breakfast. Each room was "pristine clean" as Kenny says, and the whole place had a comfortable, homey feel. Breakfast came with price of the room, and it was always delicious. The location could not have been more perfect. We were within walking distance of the main shopping street, Kuhrf├╝rstendam, or KuDam as the locals call it.
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This street was full of fabulous shops and cafes, and of course chic, beautiful people. Europe is supposedly experiencing many of the same economic troubles we are here in America. We saw no evidence of this on the KuDam. It was a whole bunch of ooh la la's.
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On Saturday we took a walking tour of the major historical sites of the city. We saw the Berliner Dom . . .
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the Reichstag (German Parliament)(and FYI, the dome is clear at the top to give you not only a beautiful view of the city, but also a view into the main hall of parliament. It is a reminder to the people of Germany to keep an eye on their government leaders) . . .
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Humboldt University (Albert Einstein taught here, and also the site where the Nazis burned more than 20,000 books in 1933. Now there is a used book sale every weekend across the street at one of the other university buildings) . . .
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Checkpoint Charlie (I was so disappointed in this. I thought it was real, but it's not. It's all for show and all touristy. They should just take it down instead of leaving it as such a joke). . .
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the Wall . . .
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the site of Hitler's bunker (I can understand why they didn't keep the bunker, but build apartments and a parking lot on top of it?). . .
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the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe (the bottom picture is my favorite. I loved how peaceful it was inside the memorial and how every block was a different size and none of them were perfect. Deep inside the memorial you felt very alone, but you could always see there was a way out. I'm not one of those people who appreciates modern art, but the meaning behind this memorial was so moving. . .)
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and the Brandenburg Gate.
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Sunday we took off on our own and explored Potsdamer Platz, the Pergamon Museum and the German Historical Museum. I think this was my favorite day. We just kind of walked around on our own time schedule and took in everything there was to see...
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Coming from a city with no change of seasons, this was breathtaking. I loved the smell of the leaves and the way they crunched under my feet. If this is what fall looks like to you, you are so lucky.
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.This is me (on the right) and Dee (on the left) walking along the river Spree to Museum Island. It was cold but we were so happy to see the beautiful fall colors.

Berlin was amazing and my most favorite city of the three we visited. Walking back to the hotel Sunday night, I felt sad that we were leaving so soon. I absolutely can't wait to go back.

I left a little piece of my heart Unter Den Linden.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Guess who's on vacay???

So I totally planned on doing NaBloPoMo again this year and I blew it. But I have a good excuse. I am currently in Amsterdam!!

We left 10/28 for Berlin and were there for three days before moving on to Amsterdam on 11/1. Day after tomorrow we head to Brussels. We are having an incredible time with Dee and Kenny. The "that's what she said" count is in the high thirties and I have only almost peed my pants four times.

In other news, I have lots of items to check off my bucket list. I feel very lucky. And lucky to be alive. Amsterdam is a straight up freakshow, y'all. I have almost died at least 7 times. No joke. Either by train, crazy bicycle rider, freakishly steep-ass stair cases, or abnormally uneven cobblestone streets. I am certain I will meet my death in one embarrassing way or another.

And even worse, I'll die with bad hair. The weather in Amsterdam is drizzly and cold. My fine, limp hair is not amused. And I feel frumpy enough. The women here are beautiful!

Oh and did I tell you I almost slipped on a used condom in the park? Yeah. That happened. Totally want to burn my new boots. And possibly even my feet. At least the bottoms. They'll heal, right?

I promise to upload photos when I get home. I can't do it now because I am stupid and don't know how. Oh how I wish I were kidding.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

All Growed Up

Junior: Well, I officially lost my last baby tooth today.
Me: Aw, buddy. That's sad.
Junior: Why? It didn't hurt. It has been loose for a while.
Me: No, it's sad that it was your last tooth.
Junior: Oh.
Me: Where is it?
Junior: I threw it in the trash.
Me: What? What about the tooth fairy?
Junior: Oh please. I'm not a baby anymore, Mom.
Me: But what about the money she leaves you?
Junior: You could just hand it to me. Or give me stock certificates.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Security

I see him almost every morning. He's there as early as 4:45 some days. His bright green or baby blue Tom Cruise in Risky Business Ray-Bans clash with his dull brown security uniform. But no matter how early it is, how hot it is, or how many cars are lined up waiting for him, he is always smiling.

And no matter how tired I am, how weary, how grumpy to be up so early in the morning, he always gets me to smile back.

That has to be a sucky job, wouldn't you think? Standing there in a hot parking lot with no shade, checking badges as hundreds of crabby employees wait to get waved into the parking lot. I mean having to wear that ugly uniform is bad enough, right?

But still. There he is, smiling away. Looking all of us right in the eyes and wishing us a good morning. Despite the astounding monotony of his job, he still finds joy. He still brings joy.

I envy him. I aspire to be like him. His positive attitude reminds me every day to be thankful, to always give it my best, and to allow my actions to make a difference for someone.

And of course, to always accessorize.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Freaks

For some reason, I lost my mind last week and agreed to come in to work at 5:00 AM for the next two weeks. I know, right? That means I am getting up at 3:30 in the morning. 3:30. That is the middle of the night. But it's just two weeks. Right? Hello? Someone please make me feel better about my psychosis.

So do you guys want to hear about the weirdness I encountered yesterday? I stopped at Circle K for my morning dose of heroin refreshing and economical diet beverage. Now keep in mind it is before the butt crack of dawn, right? And it's a Sunday.

So I am standing in line behind this guy. He's older, maybe late 40's or early 50's. He's tall. His hair is a little disheveled but it is early in the morning on a Sunday so who the hell am I to judge another person's grooming, right? He's buying a 44 ounce beverage, a coffee, a newspaper and a gallon of milk. Typical Sunday morning convenience store purchases.

But when he gets to the counter to pay, he also asks for a Penthouse magazine.

Wow. That's a little gross at 5:00 in the morning, right? On a Sunday? It's not just me, is it? I mean I guess I never thought of purchasing a nudie mag so early on the Lord's day, you know?And now I don't even want to know what's up with the gallon of milk.

Fast forward 15 minutes later, I am in the dark parking lot at work getting out of my car and guess who is walking into the building?

Penthouse with a side of milk.

Awkward.

He works here. In the same building. On Sundays.

And he wasn't carrying the milk. So I ask you friends. Where is the milk? What is up with that?

People are weird.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Oh yes. This totally happened.

Let's start with a food confession: Tuesday night my dinner consisted of two Dogfish Head Punkin' Ales and a garlic bread stick. Hey stop judging me, I was totally within my points for Fat Camp. And in my own defense, pumpkin is totally a fruit. Hey I wonder what the fiber content is? I may have overestimated the point value....

The other night, Ubes and I were watching TV and there was a commercial on for toilet paper. You know the one with the cartoon bear? So the bear is sitting on the toilet singing before he wipes his youknowwhat and Ubes looks at me and says "I hate this commercial. Don't ever buy that toilet paper because this is just stupid. Who sings while they are wiping their ass?" Well hey guess what? Yesterday I went into the bathroom at work and there was a woman two stalls down humming quietly and singing while she was obviously working on a numero dos. So at least now we know the answer to Ubes' question.

Yesterday I also walked around for two minutes at work looking for my desk only to realize that I was in the wrong wing of the building.

For more than 24 hours this week I was being followed on Twitter by both Sea World and the Czech Republic. And just when I was completely convinced that I was kind of a big deal, they both quit following me. Maybe the Czech Republic thought I was an actual Queen. And maybe Sea World realized I am in fact not a whale, especially now that I am trying to lose weight. Bah Dum Bum. Ah, fat jokes at my own expense. I crack myself up! Either way, I got Twitter dumped by an entire country and an amusement park. But I'm pretty sure I am still kind of a big deal.

I'm totally, hopelessly, helplessly, head over heels hooked on Jersey Shore. I want to stop and I can't. I'm even following Snooki on Twitter. There. I admitted it. And now you know. I feel better, don't you?

Good news. Pumpkin is super high in fiber. I looked it up on the Google. Think I'll go drink another beer since it's so healthy. It must be 5:00 somewhere....

Monday, September 20, 2010

Change

The other day I called home. I can't remember why, it doesn't really matter, but Junior answered the phone. We engaged in our usual witty chit chat and then he excitedly began telling me about his day. And as I listened to him, I heard something different. It was so subtle, I may have missed it if I had been preoccupied, but there it was.

Change.

His voice has taken on this ever so slight raspy quality. It's not a Peter Brady squeak, it's just this deeper undertone. It's there. And it took my breath away.

I've noticed a difference in him over the past few months. He's always been so mature anyway, but this is different. I've always said he was a 40 year old man trapped in a child's body, and I think the 40 year old man is trying to get out.

He's taller. Almost as tall as I am. I can't see the top of his head anymore when he asks me to help him tame his unruly curls. He's not as clumsy as he has been in the last few years. He walks taller, with more confidence. Almost graceful. He just doesn't seem like a kid anymore.

The other night he had just gotten out of the shower and he thrust his armpit in my face. "Look!" he said. "I'm getting hair under my arms!"

And then yesterday I was at work and he sent me a text message.

"Mom, when am I allowed to date? Because there is this girl that I like and I want to ask her before someone beats me to it."

Gasp.

What happened to my baby? Where is that blue eyed little boy with the dimples, who messed up my house with his hot wheels? The one who wore his Woody costume every day for an entire year? The one who used to splash in puddles and beg me to read Miss Spider books and watch Bob the Builder?

I miss that little boy. Where did he go?

As a mom I want so badly to cling to him. To keep him young and sweet and innocent. Friday afternoon I watched his face as he talked to me, I watched the way his eyes widened as he told a story, how the corner of his mouth turned up as he said something funny, and how his eyes crinkled at the corners when he laughed. Every once in a while I would see that little boy who used to live here.

And every once in a while I would glimpse the man who will be here soon.

And again, it took my breath away.

Friday, September 17, 2010

In response to "Inspiration"

Dear Bill,

I want to run. I want to be like Lauren, signing up for half marathons and bad ass stuff like that.

I am down 9.5 pounds since August 9. I have had to fight tooth and nail for every ounce. It's not just falling off like it did when I was younger. (Oh those carefree days of experimenting with eating disorders. How I miss you.) I have so many more to go Bill.

It's so difficult and I hate it. Every. Damn. Minute.

And today I am really struggling with food. There's some stress going on around these parts and I feel the need to comfort myself with food that is bad for me. I want a red chili beef burrito from Carambas. Or Polla Con Queso from Ajo Al's. Or my mom's white trash potato casserole. Or my Aunt Vonna's boiled fudge cake. Or Thanksgiving.

And because I am fighting so hard for every ounce of weight, I want to give up.

But I don't.

Because I already feel better. 9.5 pounds is nothing compared to what I have to lose. (I'd like to lose 40 more.) But that 9.5 has given me more energy, more comfort in my clothes.

It's SO HARD. (That's what she said.) And I don't want to do it anymore.

But I do.

I have to. I have to get healthy.

And you have inspired me to get started. To keep going. Remember what you said to me on the phone that night? You said JUST DO IT. Just get out there and run. Take five steps today and 6 steps tomorrow.

So get your 189 pound ass out there at 5:00 in the morning and run. Because you are my Black Hockey Jesus and you're keeping me motivated. And my promise to you is the three days a week I don't have to be at work at 6:00 am, I will get my enormous ass out there and work my way up to running. I can't sleep in anymore anyway, might as well get outside and start ticking stuff off my bucket list.

And then someday, you, Lauren and I will run a half marathon together. Hell, I'll even come to Philly for it. And Uberman will watch the kids while we run and then we'll all go look at a Philly Cheesesteak and remember the good ole days when used to actually eat them.

Now I have to go. It's time for my snack. I'm gonna go eat a Fiber One bar and pretend it's a rice crispy treat.

With nothing but love and admiration,
April

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Conservative

My kids brought home permission slips so they could watch President Obama's speech today. After I signed Boo's slip, I tried handing it back to her and told her to put it in her backpack.

"Oh, no thank you," she said, shaking her head at me.

"No," I told her, "it's your permission slip to watch the President's speech tomorrow."

"I know," she said. "I don't want it."

"What do you mean? You need to turn it into your teacher. Put it in your backpack."

"I don't want to watch it," she said. "It sounds boring." And then she rolled her eyes. She's six.

I stared at her for minute. "So what do I tell your teacher?" I asked.

"I don't know," she shrugged her shoulders. "Tell her I'm a republican."

Friday, September 10, 2010

April in September

My mother named me April, despite the fact I was not born in April, but because she liked the name. I think it set the precedent for my need to be unique.

I'm superstitious. I had breakfast with Erin and Brooke today and Erin complimented my clear skin. Tonight I got a zit on my chin. I blame Erin. It's like she blew my no hitter.

Fat Camp is making me grouchy. I'm hungry. I want pancakes. With peanut butter and maple syrup. And a side of bacon.

I think people should have to give you a reason for dropping you from Facebook or Twitter. "I didn't want to be your friend anymore because I got sick of you talking about how funny your kids were." Fine. I'm a big girl. I can take that. "I stopped following you because you are boring and never have anything interesting to say." Thank you. I accept that and you are absolutely right. See? Isn't that so much better than wondering if you pissed someone off?

My potty mouth has gotten progressively worse in the last year. I am not proud of this but sometimes bad words do make you feel better. And Jesus knows my heart so stop judging me.

I am pretty sure my new schedule is going to make my life so much more amazing. Four tens. Sunday through Wednesday. Thursdays and Fridays in the house all by myself?? Hello Heaven. You sure smell nice.

I have been reading a lot lately. I love books. I love the way they smell. The way the pages sound when you turn them. The weight of it in my hands when I'm curled up on the couch or in my bed. When I was in the 6th grade I read a story by Isaac Asimov. It took place in the future, like all his stories do. It was about a girl who had never seen a book. Everything was electronic. All books were on a miniature TV. I thought that was ridiculous. I couldn't even imagine a world without books. And now I am scared this story will come true. I've decided I don't want a Kindle or a Nook or any of those things. I'm staying old school and sticking with books.

I think God was preoccupied when He made me. First of all, I should have been born in England. Secondly, He gave me two different ears, so somewhere out there I have an indentical ear twin. And He forgot that Stacey, Sarah and Kara T. were supposed to be my little sisters. Also He failed to equip me with a filter and a fast metabolism. But I am not complaining. He is God after all. And I am sure He has a plan.

I can't parallel park. If the fate of the world is dependent on my ability to park downtown, we are all going to die.

On Tuesday I turned 39. I wore red high heels to work to celebrate the occasion. I'm okay with 39. And I'm not afraid of 40 either.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Winner winner chicken dinner!

Congrats to KERRY!! She has won the $20 credit at Sassy Toppers!

Thank you so much for reading and for supporting Stacey and Sassy Toppers!

Kerry, please email me at aprilsreignblog at gmail dot com to claim your prize!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

My first ever give away!!

My girlfriend Stacey has started her own business, Sassy Toppers Bowtique. You guys need to check out these adorable, handmade hair bows for girls. Or for boys, if you swing that way. Whatevs.

And check out the April Clippie, named after yours truly. It's practically perfect in every way.





So here's what I am prepared to do. Because I love you so much. And especially because I love my girl Stacey. I am going to do a give away. YAY!! I really wish I could figure out a way to make confetti fly out of your computer screens. And hey guess what? When I first typed that previous sentence, I typed the word "spaghetti" instead of "confetti." Either way, that would be pretty impressive.

Anyhoots. Where was I? Oh, give away!

Here are the rules:

1. Never talk about Fight Club.

That's a joke. If you don't get it we can't be friends anymore.

Okay, this time for real. The rules:

1. Go to the Sassy Topper website, then come back and leave a comment telling me which bow is your fave. (You don't have to pick the April Clippie, but it may earn you some brownie points.)

2. Become a Sassy Topper Fan on Facebook. (If you already are, skip to rule three.)

3. Leave a comment on Sassy Topper's Facebook wall telling Stacey how you heard about her amazing bows and how lucky she is to have such a fabulous friend like me.

4. If you have a blog of your own, link this post! Leave me another comment letting me know you linked!

5. Never talk about Fight Club.

Okay so rule 5 was a joke again, but it's just SO funny to me!

Anyhoosies, for each rule you follow, you will receive one entry in the drawing for the grand prize: A $20 credit towards any Sassy Topper product! Yay!

***More spaghetti flying out of your computer screen!!***

Now for those of you dudes out there who aren't into hair accessories, I have a deal for you. Follow the rules anyway, and if you win and choose not to accept the credit, I will donate it to The Jack Morton Foundation in your name.

Also, if you are one of my lovely international readers, you can still participate! I will work out the details with exchange rate and shipping and all that jazz! Deal??

The winner will be selected by random drawing on MY BIRTHDAY, which just so happens to be Tuesday September 7th!

So what are you waiting for?? Get your bad selves to Sassy Toppers and start picking out what you are going to buy with your $20 credit!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

New Friends/Old Friends

At work I share a cubicle with a pretty cool chick. We'll call her Not Britney, because she looks just like Britney Spears but taller and plus size, so not totally like Britney Spears. Get it? And she can't sing. I asked.

I knew we were going to be great friends when she sat down at her desk one morning and said "I just have to say this. My boobs look amazing in this top."

We spend a lot of time talking and laughing and being shushed. It's awesome.

The following is an actual conversation Not Britney and I had this morning:

Me: Dude! This guy I just talked to? His last name was Dookie! It was so hard to say "Thank you Mr. Dookie" and keep a straight face. I had to put him on hold because I couldn't hold my giggles.

She: I heard you say Mr. Dookie and I started laughing.

Me: We are so immature.

She: Yeah, well at least you didn't have to talk to Mr. Glasscock. That was awkward.

I love her.


I have started a daily coffee habit. I was buying it every day, but over the weekend I realized I actually have a little coffee maker. I never ever make coffee at home unless my mom is staying the night with us and then she makes it for herself every morning. So I dug out my little 4 cupper and set the timer for the next morning and at 6:00 AM, POOF! Coffee! A coffee machine with a timer! Greatest invention EVER. I even bought my own fat free vanilla creamer for it.

The only problem? The insulated coffee mug thingie I use for my morning commute to work is the one I got at the Bank of Hell. And it has the Bank of Hell's logo on it. And I am pretty sure bad mojo is seeping into my coffee from it and I'll probably get some kind of cancer and die. And I hate that place and feel like such a hypocrite for drinking my delicious hazelnut vanilla coffee from it every morning. But it's the perfect size! And it keeps my coffee so nice and hot! And I hate myself for it.

So this morning I texted Travis my dilemma. Being a former Bank of Hell employee, I figured he would understand. This is our actual textversation:

Me: I have a new daily coffee habit. And I am drinking it out of my [Bank of Hell] mug every morning. I feel like such a hypocrite.

Trav: I have new daily heroin habit. And I use my [Bank of Hell] syringe to inject it every morning. But I don't feel bad because it's good heroin.
Trav: And I named my syringe [Banker Bitch Barbie] because it's plastic and empty.

I miss him.

I love that good or bad, my adventures as a working mom have brought amazing people into my life. I'm thankful.

And I'm a total of six pounds lighter. Cyber high five for Fat Campers everywhere!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

I know. I hate it that I don't have time to blog anymore...

My oh my where do I begin?

Well you may have noticed I look a little different. I have actually lost three point four pounds thankyouverymuch.

It is hard. I hate it. I'm hungry. I am seriously considering eating my keyboard but I have no idea how many points it is. It's not in the book. I looked. Kim is doing awesome, too. However she does not ever look ugly for Fat Camp. I am pretty sure she is competing with me to be the hottest chick there. Bitch. But I did have a wonderful time with her yesterday plotting who we were going to run over in the parking lot for bragging about how much weight they had lost. One lady lost seven pounds! SEVEN!! In one week! So of course Kim and I hate her and have vowed to never be her friend.

I can totally picture Kim sitting at home reading this (Like how I totally assume my friends actually read my blog?? When they have to put up withe me in person?? I know! Hysterical!) and shaking her curly head and rolling her eyes going "I am not competing with you to be the hottest chick at Fat Camp, April. [LIAR!!] And I never vowed to hate anyone."

And she's right. We didn't vow to hate anyone, I was totally exaggerating. We did however discuss who each of us would run over in the parking lot when we left the meeting. (Is that right? Who? Or should I have used whom in that sentence? Still, I can never remember that rule. What a waste of time in Honors English. Should have been flirting with the boys like I did in French.)

Enough with the Fat Camp stories for today...

My babies started school yesterday and I had to miss it. I couldn't take them, Uberman had to. I was sad and devastated all day and felt like a crap mom. But because I am still in training, I couldn't take time off work. It sucked. My first year in 7 years that I haven't been able to make them pancakes and help them get ready. I still made pancakes, I just had to make them the night before. But still. Reheated pancakes on the first day of school? Sad. Just sad.

Apparently they were not too traumatized. They all had a fab day and were very excited to catch up with their friends, and in Boo's case, show off her new clothes. I'm in trouble with that girl. She loves fashion. I asked her what was her favorite part of her first day of first grade? She answered "My new clothes. I looked fabulous. Right down to my Twinkle Toes." Oy vay.

I will resume my Monday Interviews shortly. I just haven't had time to make them fabulous. I've been trying to spend less time on the computer. Unfortunately it's the blog that has suffered. And my Google Reader?? Holy Haysoos. I almost had a heart attack when I logged on a few days ago. Too overwhelming how many posts I have to read. Double Oy Vay.

Oh and I'm going to Europe in 72 days.

So what have you been up to?

Monday, August 9, 2010

I totally don't want this to turn into a weight loss blog...

So I am about to leave for the big WW. Or Fat Camp. I think we'll call it Fat Camp just to make it sound more fun.

My friend Kim is going with me. And she is like my most gorgeous friend. So I'm a little bitter about already not being the hot chick at Fat Camp. I was really looking forward to having that going for me, but whatever. I guess I should just be thankful for the company, right? At least I won't be Lonely Fat Chick at Fat Camp, right? So thanks Kim! I love you!

And just to let you know, I stripped off all my jewelry, except my wedding ring because who are we kidding? I don't have the time or butter to get it off my finger when I need to be there in thirty minutes. I am also wearing a t-shirt and hideous cropped sweat pants because they are light and I can breathe in them. And I just know Kim is going to show up looking gorgeous with her wild curly hair and beautiful blue-green eyes and angels will sing as soon as she walks in the room. Note to self: Call Kim next week to remind her to look ugly for Fat Camp.

I really want some Pretzel M&M's right now. And I totally have some. Downstairs. On the counter. Taunting me with their deliciousness as I walk by. But I'm not going to do it. Because what I want more than Pretzel M&M's is to not be fat anymore. And to stop losing buttons off my pants. And to breathe in my clothes again. And to not die of a heart attack/diabetes/chicken bone choking related death.

And to wear leather pants some day.

Cross your fingers and toes I don't break the scale.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Fatty McFatterson

So you guys know how Oprah says God gives you a pebble before He smacks you upside the head with a brick? Well last week I sat down at my desk, and the button popped off my pants with such velocity it could have seriously injured an innocent bystander. Like a gunshot people, I am not joking here.

What. The. Hell?

I have been at the awesome new job for 8 weeks and have gained an astonishing 10 pounds. 10 pounds. TEN FREAKING POUNDS. This is a disgrace.

After losing all that weight three years ago, and I have so proudly kept it off. I mean, yeah I have fluctuated 5 pounds or so, but not 10. TEN!! Oh the humanity! Or humility? Whatever. I am FAT.

This has to stop. Like right now. And I don't even know what has caused this upward spiral. It could be Warm Cookie Wednesday. I know right? My new employer rocks. It could be the vanilla cream in all the coffee I am drinking. It could be that I am used to being on my feet all day and now I am sitting on my fat ass at a desk all day. But seriously, I have not changed my eating habits hardly at all. Other than Warm Cookie Wednesday, that is.

I don't know what to do. I need to get back in the game. I am way too cute to be this fat. How embarrassing. I am just a few pounds shy of becoming some horrific fat chick choking to death on a chicken bone cliche.

I need to do Weight Watchers again. And I hate it! Because you know what that means? Drinking a bunch of water all day. Blech! And attending meetings with a bunch of other fat people complaining about how hungry we are. Gah! And weigh ins! Oy vay!!

But I don't want to die of heart attack. I don't want to get diabetes. I don't want high blood pressure. And I want to wear a pair of leather pants before I die! Leather pants, people!!

And seriously, like I need another freaking appointment on my schedule. Good Lord! And I can't do it this week because we are having Uberman's "Beerday" party on Saturday. Who wants to be on a diet when Diane is bringing her famous Margaritas? No. Thank. You.

But no more excuses! Next week is it! I'm going! Kicking and screaming! But at least I'm burning calories with all the fuss....

Monday, July 26, 2010

You only moved the headstones!

Oh wow, you guys. Strange things are afoot at the Uber house. No joke. There is some freaky deaky shizz going on here.

I am 98% sure we have a poltergeist.

True. Story.

So it all started last year when one of my Fiesta plates went missing. And I was pissed because it was the Peacock one and it was one of my faves. I still had the bowl and mug and the salad plate, but no dinner plate. I know, what the eff, right? So I start interrogating Uberman and the kids. Who broke my plate?? No one would fess up. Even Junior, who always caves when I give him the doubtful squinty eye look and tell him Baby Jesus doesn't like it when we lie.

Not one person in this house had any idea what happened to my beautiful Peacock Fiesta plate.

And then last fall, Ubes bought a new budgeting software at Costco. We brought it home, took it up to the office, and never saw it again. Now to be honest, the office is the black hole in this house. It's a giant boil on my ass. But I don't normally lose non-paper related items, you know? But it's been almost a year and we have not seen that software since we brought it home.

Then, for Christmas, my sister in law She She gave me this super fabulous silver sequined bangle bracelet that I was so in love with. And it's gone. Can't find it anywhere. I think I wore it three times. I'm sad.

I have a large mirror hanging above a table in my entryway. It's a pretty bad ass set up. There's a tall skinny lamp on the table and big silver bowl to throw our keys in. Vern Yip would be proud. A few months ago I came home from work to find the mirror on the floor behind the table. It just fell off the wall. The WIRE CABLES holding it to the dry wall anchors just snapped. The mirror didn't break, but the frame is a little jacked up. But how weird is that? That mirror has been hanging there for three years with no issue.

And then, last week, Ubes sent me a text message when I was on my way to work asking if I had changed out his toothbrush head. What? I couldn't stop laughing. What a weird random question. But he had a brand new head on his toothbrush and he didn't change it and neither did I.

So obviously this is a ghost of a former dentist, right? A former dentist who is eating off my peacock plate, keeping track of his budget and wearing my sequined bracelet. Hey, I am not judging. I am totally GLBT friendly.

But apparently our dentist poltergeist is also into lawn maintenance. Because this morning, our back yard sprinklers started working. After one year of inexplicably not working. After Ubes and I spent two weekends renting a rototiller to rip the dead stuff out to prepare the ground for new sod. Where were you a year ago, magical landscaping poltergeist? You could have saved us some sore shoulders, a ruined pedicure and $125 on the rototiller. Your shenanigans are becoming a little inconvenient. I totally would not mind if you mopped floors and unloaded the dishwasher once in a while.

All of these things could be coincidence, I know that's what you are all thinking. But guess what we just found out? Our neighborhood was supposedly built on Indian burial ground. Gasp!

And! AND!! On Saturday, we found a scorpion and a centipede inside the house within four hours of each other. If that's not a sign of evil, I don't know what is.

And I am pretty sure it is messing with my scale to make it look like I am seven pounds heavier than I was two months ago. Dun duh dunnnnnn!!

Dudes. I am shaking in my crystal studded flip flops. One more thing and it's run to the light Carol Ann. Do priests do exorcisms if you aren't Catholic? Anyone know?

Or maybe I need a Shaman since it's Indian burial ground? Anyone know one? Are they expensive? Because I can't afford a whole lot, now that my water bill is going up. Stupid sprinklers.

Maybe I can get a hold of Craig T. Nelson. He'll know what to do.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Why?

So a couple of days turned into a week, which turned into another couple of days and then another week. I took an unplanned vacay from blogging. Sue me. But in other news, my bedroom is clean and for the first time in 3 years there is not one unfolded piece of laundry anywhere in this house. You would be amazed what you can accomplish when you walk away from your computer. I will be back on Monday, I promise. But until then, here are some questions I have been pondering. Maybe you are too?


. . . Why can't my children go at least one entire day without feeling the need to harass and antagonize each other?

. . . Why does everyone at Circle K at 6:00 in the morning look like a crack head? OHMYGOD. Do I look like a crack head at 6:00 in the morning???

. . . Why do they even make the white crayon?

. . . When did it become okay for guys to wear black socks with shorts and why wasn't I consulted on this decision?

. . . Why does every song in the top 200 on iTunes suck right now? (Except Mike Posner's Cooler Than Me, I am so addicted to that song I want to snort it or main line it or marry it or something.)

. . . Why are donuts so delicious? And why do I crave them when I am trying to watch what I eat because I can actually hear myself getting fatter every day?

. . . Why is it that just when you think you are going to have a surplus of money one month, you inevitably have an emergency that requires large amounts of money? And why are stupid things like tires so expensive? It's not like you can show them off. "Hey everyone, look at my new tires!"

. . . Why am I still typing this when I should be getting ready for work?

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Bucket List

One of the things I love most about my new job is that I have had the opportunity to meet some pretty inspiring people.

Our new department leader recently took the time to meet with me and the other newbies to talk about career paths and such. He told us this story about how, after he graduated business school, the company he worked for sent him to a leadership training class. During that class, he was asked to write a Bucket List. He was told to come up with at least 20 items on the list. He came up with over a hundred. When he brought his list in to share with the class facilitator, he was asked why he wasn't doing some of those things right now. Two months later, he quit the job and went on a journey to cross off some of the items on his list. He and his new wife traveled all over Europe and Africa for the next two years.

I sat there in awe listening to his story. He had attended that class to help him with his career, and instead it changed his life. It gave him the courage to take life by the balls and live it to its fullest. When I left that meeting, I felt so pumped up. I wanted to go build schools in Rwanda. I wanted to bust out the Shop Vac and head on down to Louisiana to clean up the oil spill. Or build a center for kids who can't read good.

But some of those things are not possible right now. So instead I decided to start a Bucket List of my own. I came up with 100 things. Here they are:

  1. Take up running
  2. Run the Disneyland Half Marathon
  3. Run the Disney World Marathon
  4. Hike the Grand Canyon
  5. Cook Thanksgiving Dinner
  6. Visit the Great Wall of China
  7. See the Taj Mahal
  8. Take a Cross Country Road Trip
  9. Drive the length of the Pacific Coast Highway
  10. Go Parasailing
  11. Make a quilt
  12. Own a pair of Christian Louboutins* (click on the link at your own risk, it's basically a whole bunch of shoe porn)
  13. Get something published*
  14. Stay at the Paradise Island Atlantis Resort in the Bahamas
  15. See Victoria Falls
  16. Go on African Safari
  17. See the sunrise at Machu Picchu
  18. Enjoy a hot chocolate in Spain
  19. Have a Frozen Hot Chocolate at Serendipity 3
  20. See a play on Broadway
  21. Walk across the Brooklyn Bridge
  22. Learn to surf
  23. Ride a gondola in Venice
  24. See penguins in Antarctica
  25. Shop the Portobello Road
  26. Go to Scotland to find the Loch Ness Monster
  27. Take the Beatles tour in Liverpool
  28. Have lunch somewhere in Provence
  29. Stay at a villa in Tuscany
  30. Go to Lake Como Italy
  31. Go sailing
  32. Take the kids to Washington, DC
  33. Learn to ride a motorcycle
  34. Buy fudge on Mackinac Island
  35. Walk across Golden Gate Bridge
  36. Go to Martha's Vineyard
  37. Drink a Guinness in Ireland
  38. Take my daughter to the Ballet in New York
  39. See a kangaroo in Australia
  40. See the Pyramids in Egypt
  41. Go on an Alaskan Cruise
  42. Buy my Dad a car
  43. Take my Mom to Italy
  44. Go to the Great American Beer Festival with my husband
  45. See a game in every baseball stadium (so far I have been to Chase Field in Phoenix, Turner Field in Atlanta, Anaheim Stadium, Yankee Stadium (original), Comiskey Park, Wrigley Field)
  46. See the Anne Frank house in Amsterdam
  47. See Auschwitz
  48. Walk across the Charles Bridge in Prague
  49. Go to Greece
  50. See the statue of David in Florence
  51. Climb to the top of the dome of St. Paul’s Cathedral
  52. See da Vinci's Last Supper
  53. Walk in the Forum in Rome
  54. See the Leaning Tower of Pisa
  55. Play in the snow in Switzerland
  56. Go somewhere wearing Leather Pants**
  57. Learn to Knit
  58. Get my degree
  59. Live in London for a year
  60. Live in NYC for a year
  61. See the Statue of Liberty
  62. Go to Boston
  63. Eat at Dogfish Head Brewing & Eats and Dogfish Head Alehouse
  64. Take a cooking class
  65. Take a cake decorating class
  66. See London at Christmas
  67. See Rockefellar Center at Christmas
  68. Walk the red carpet*
  69. Pet a lion
  70. Plant a vegetable and spice garden
  71. Take a photography class
  72. Be an extra in a movie
  73. Go to the Pergamon Museum in Berlin
  74. Eat Belgian Frites in Brussels
  75. See the Temple of Apollo at the Gardens of Stourhead
  76. See Angkor Wat in Cambodia
  77. Go to Hong Kong
  78. Learn to play tennis
  79. Go to Brighton, England
  80. Play Roulette or Craps in Vegas
  81. See the Berlin Wall
  82. Kiss the Blarney Stone
  83. Inspire someone
  84. Refinish a piece of furniture
  85. Own a 1956 Porsche Speedster*
  86. Touch a dolphin or whale
  87. Get laser hair removal
  88. Spend the night in a castle
  89. Ride on a zipline through the jungle/forest
  90. Eat a deep fried Mars bar in Scotland
  91. Spend a few days at Disneyland Paris
  92. Take a night train from one European country to another
  93. Take up Bicycling
  94. Learn to speak another language (or two)
  95. Figure out how to follow a pattern and make an entire outfit
  96. Learn to SCUBA dive
  97. Take a horse drawn carriage ride in Central Park
  98. Drink a Bellini at Harry’s Bar in Venice
  99. Drive a race car
  100. Get more than 100 followers on Twitter
So there it is. One hundred things I would like to do before I die. I am sure as I cross things off I will add more. And I realize some of these things may not appeal to you, but that's why you should do your own. And let me know if you do, I would love to read them.



*I realize money/status may prevent me from achieving this goal. I accept the challenge.
**I realize my age/weight may prevent me from achieving this goal. I acknowledge I am running out of time, as a 40+ year old woman who is not a rock star has no business wearing leather pants. However, with 14 months until my 40th birthday, I accept the challenge.