Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Dreaming of a Green Christmas

One of the things I love most about Mr. Wonderful is that he calls me out on my nonsense. He tells me to calm down when I’m worked up over something silly. He reminds me that I need to think positive if I start dipping into negative nelly territory. And this past weekend, he gave me a mini-Charlie Brown smackdown to get me to stop being a holiday hypocrite.

I was talking about getting my Christmas tree this year and Mr. W said, “It’s amazing to me that a composting Prius driver would actually kill a tree just to stick it in the living room at Christmas.”


He was kind of right. I use cloth napkins. I lament the fact that the polar bears are drowning. I buy green cleaning products…but I’ve yet to purchase a fake Christmas tree.

I’ve thought about doing this for the last couple years, but I think laziness more than anything has stopped me. Now that I have been called out on my inconsistent behavior, however, there is no excuse.

So this week, I will head to Lowe’s or Target and see what I can find in the way of plastic trees. I will not have needles in my car or on my carpet this year. I will not grapple with the guilt of throwing my crunchy tree out on the curb at New Year’s. And next year, I will only have to walk to the garage when I decide it’s time to decorate.

Mr. W says I’m making a good investment for our holiday future. But I have to wonder how many plastic trees are clogging up the landfills in this country…

Friday, November 20, 2009

One Foot in the Grave

A few years ago (and many, many before that) when I was single, I could jam-pack my schedule until there was barely any time to change my underwear between events. I loved going out with my single girlfriends—whether for an evening run at the beach or a night of bar-hopping in Venice or Santa Monica—and would often catch myself in these moments of bliss over how delightfully exciting my life was.

I remember driving through downtown LA on numerous occasions on my way home, admiring the city lights and thinking how alive and young and fun I felt.

This week, I met up with a friend for dinner in Santa Monica and as I drove through the glistening metropolis of downtown, I felt something quite different: tired.

I don’t know what it is, but in the last couple years it’s like my body has discovered its real age and it feels OLD. It doesn’t want to stay up late drinking, it wants to accidentally fall asleep on Mr. W’s couch while watching The Food Network.

I experienced a similar realization at the U2 concert last month. I’ve seen The Boys seven other times with GA floor tickets, and I’ve always left the concert buzzing with exhilaration. But this time, I left with a sore back, aching feet and an ear that wouldn’t stop ringing for two days.

People, I think the machine is breaking down.

The funny part is that I’ve challenged myself physically more in the last couple years than I did for the first 31! When I was young and spry, I wasn’t running half marathons and climbing mountains. I thought that stuff was supposed to help me stay youthful!

I know there’s no avoiding the age goblins. But I just really wish that when I sat on the floor to make jewelry or wrap a birthday present, I didn’t start to get stiff before I stood up again. That used to happen to our dog as a kid. And he’s dead now.

It scares me that this is only the beginning… It’s downhill from here… What do you all do to stay feeling young?

Monday, November 16, 2009

Yuppie Dinks

This weekend, Mr. Wonderful and I headed to the Santa Ynez valley in Central California for a lovely stint of wine tasting. Some might call such a getaway hoity toity. My nine-year-old niece once made fun of us for going to a wine class, pantomime-reading a “class book” saying, “Ooohh how interesting—you DRINK it.” But we find great joy in the whole swirl, sniff and sip experience.

As I helped Mr. W carry his things down to my already loaded car, he told me not to look in his gym bag.

I know what you’re thinking. That inside the bag, there was a little black velvet box.

Well, there was a boxy black item in there, yes. But it was Mr. W’s Nespresso machine. He actually packed the whole thing (with a zip-lock of free-trade raw sugar) so he could enjoy coffee the way HE likes to drink it.

I believe he had a shot before we went for a morning jog Saturday. And perhaps another before we headed to the top-rated restaurant Root 246 for dinner.

I’m not sure when I had my oh-my-god-we’re-such-yuppies moment, but it suddenly seemed to me that when you added everything up, we were walking stereotypes. Then again, I’m not sure that true yuppies do all the stuff we do…

Like when we were trying to take a self portrait on this beautiful country road and I couldn’t seem to keep my eyes open in the bright sun, and Mr. W said, “Tardball, stop making that blinky face.” I must have laughed about 42 more times throughout the afternoon over that one. “Tardball.” Yuppies don’t talk like that.

And I don’t think they crack up about farts when they’re jogging.

Nor do they show off their mad female burping skills at 10 a.m. while drinking Dr. Pepper instead of coffee.

And they most certainly don’t buy gummy worms and melon rings at the gas station then stick the two together in an obscene way before chuckling and eating them.

So even though we ARE young, urban professional, double income, no kids kinda people, I think we’re still relatively down to earth. Especially if the earth has wine grapes growing out of it.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

In Honor of This Very Special Day

Once upon a time, two years ago today Mr. Wonderful and I had our first date. It was a delightful evening at The Melting Pot in Pasadena. I thought I might have an email from the actual day, but apparently we were IMing by that point. Here's one of our last exchanges before we met that night...and I was hit with the feeling that I just might fall in love.

I said: Hold the phone - you fix hard drives too?! That might be even hotter than the power tool usage. If I'm nice to you, (I'm batting my eyelashes rapidly right now) can you install a new hard drive into my broken iBook? Haha, that sounds sort of dirty. :) [Please Note: He DID install a new hard drive in my iBook. Swoon.]

Let me add to that with - you got up and went running at 6 a.m.?! Who are you?! I think you really are an international man of mystery or maybe a cyborg. People don't just fix hard drives all night and then wake up mega early to go running unless they're total badasses or partial robots. I spent the night talking on the phone and got up late this a.m. only to wash the dishes I left in the sink last night. Not quite as impressive as your story...

You mentioned Neil Diamond below and now I feel compelled to tell you that I saw him in concert a couple years ago. My sister and I took my mom for her 60th birthday. It was pretty fun - Neil's still got it. I think I heard Sweet Caroline every night I was in Ireland. I don't know if it's just that Caroline's an Irish name or what, but just about every pub performer sang that song.

Don't go picking up on any Hooters waitresses tonight. Oh and polish up your Barry Gibb wig. I expect a serenade on Sunday.

Mr. Wonderful said: Ha, well I need to be a well rounded guy (not just in the belly region either). Did I mention I can write a database and scripting too? And I can take apart my motorcycle engine (not while riding though) and do a complete top end job? Does that do anything for you? I like to be able to do many different things and I get bored if I'm not challenging myself. And yes, I'd totally install your hard drive for you if I were able. I haven't worked on the ibook, only the powerbook. Just make sure I do that before we have drinks. Otherwise well, I can't promise you I won't turn it into a toaster or something like that.

How could you think installing a hard drive sounds a little dirty? Get your mind out of the gutter, woman. You can't try to turn everything into a sexual innuendo. Although I did read your writings, so I understand your constant thought process now.

I have to say, I don't hear The Diamond often enough out and about. I have a good live recording of U2 covering the song. It's amusing and good of course.

I'm staying away from Hooters for a while, so I think they're safe... at least this weekend. Sorry, no Barry wig this weekend. I'll save that for the special occasions. Just like you can't break out the school girl outfit every day. It just loses something, you know?

Of course I would fall for someone who joked around about wearing a '70s Barry Gibb wig for me. That's top-shelf amazing.

Mr. W and I will be ringing in year 2 with a lovely evening of cheese and wine consumption. The lifeblood of our relationship. Happy Anniversary Wonderful Boy!

Monday, November 9, 2009

The Dog Ate My Blogwork

So yeah…a whole week without blogging. I think it’s been awhile since I’ve done that. But really, it’s not my fault.

I’ve had to spend a lot more time doing other things lately.

Like washing my hands. With all those H1N1 germs floating around, I’ve been much more conscious about lathering up before I touch food or pick leftovers out of my teeth. Takes a lot of spare minutes out of my day.

And my allergies—oh my allergies. After the Muddy Buddy race last weekend, I had the worst allergy attack I’ve ever had in my life. It was miserable. I truly feel for anyone who has to deal with that on a regular basis. Wheezing = sucky. Sneezing every 5-10 minutes = torture. The gigantor pimple I got because the skin around my nose was so dry my sebaceous glands went into overdrive = epic. A huge thank you to Mr. W who let me use his neti pot (now that’s love) in my darkest hour. Anyway, all that noseblowing ate up a lot of my free time.

Then there were the cool Ugandan recycled-paper beads I bought at the Women’s Conference Expo. I just had to use some of my nighttime hours last week to make 6 necklaces out of them.

Some evening hours were also spent counseling a friend who is realizing the importance of finding joy in her everyday life. I was so impressed when I read that fellow blogger, Lesley took a huge leap toward making her work and life more pleasant by quitting a miserable job. I hope my friend can do the same. I know we all have financial obligations, but these are our LIVES. It’s SO not worth it to stay in a job, relationship, or other situation that swallows your happiness from sunrise to sunset. We all deserve to be happy. Every single day.

Speaking of happiness, Mr. Wonderful and I are celebrating our two-year anniversary Wednesday. This means, I’ve also had to spend a lot of time reading old email exchanges we had. Seeing our innocent, flirtatious notes—before I farted on his leg in my sleep; before he’d seen me with ratty hair and morning mascara-raccoon eyes; before I had watched him chase squirrels with the hose in the backyard—it all makes me need to dab my eye.

Dr. Oz is probably the final culprit in my posting procrastination. I record his show every day and feel that expanding my knowledge base to include things like: you shouldn’t hold your poop for more than 3 hours and cats are more likely than dogs to carry MRSA bacteria is way more important than writing about how livid I am that the gay marriage law got repealed in Maine. Or not. I guess I should be writing about important stuff like that…

I’ll go ahead and try to find some more hours in my day(s). But if I come down with Swine Flu, I’m totally blaming the Internet.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Because Dirty Is the Way I Like It

Three half marathons. A couple 5Ks. A climb up Half Dome. Who'd have thought a scrawny kid who couldn't serve a volleyball over a net until 6th grade would ever venture into the world of competitive and challenging outdoor sports? I never would have believed that I'd be doing these things if you had asked me 3 years ago. But here I am.

And this weekend, I took it to a whole new level.

Mr. Wonderful's roommate and his girlfriend signed up to do the Muddy Buddy race in San Dimas, and when I heard the news I decided it would be a fantastic idea for us to join them. This was a couple months ago. And after a mountain bike ride where my performance left Mr. W saying, "I think we're going to have to drop out of the race," I was worried we had made a huge mistake signing up for this crazy relay. Throw in this past week which included a wedding with my family, a (9-hours-of-standing) concert, two days at the Women's Conference and a Murder Mystery party on Friday night—and I was questioning my ability to complete a lap around the living room let alone 6 miles through hilly terrain.

But this morning, we woke up bright and early, ready to face the day. We donned our gear, had some breakfast and then realized that we had forgotten to set the clocks back and we had an hour to spare. Off to a great start... We crawled back into bed and were even more tired when we got up to leave the second time.

Muddy Buddy led us through 5 legs, each of which had one of us running (in the hot sun, up and down hills) and one of us mountain biking. Within the first half mile, we had to wade through thigh-deep water and then carry on with wet shoes and pants. There were obstacle courses at each bike trade-off point, including an under-net crawl, a rock-climb wall, a balance beam, a rope ladder climb (with an awesome slide down the other side) and finally, a crawl through a 10-yard mud pit.

It was EXHAUSTING. But surprisingly fun and a little easier than I expected (thanks to Mr. W's scare tactics). Will we be doing it again next year? No, I think we'll stay home and drink wine and roll around on a bed of shaved Parmesan instead.